If you’ve ever shopped or donated items at the Youth Closet & Toy Chest in Eagle-Vail you’ve more than likely had the pleasure of chatting with Rebecca Kanaly! Rebecca was born and raised in Colorado and has been supporting community members in Eagle County for the last two decades. Rebecca received her BSBA from our very own Colorado Mountain College in Edwards and then obtained an Executive MBA from the University of Denver. She has been dedicated to working in executive nonprofit management as both staff and board for over 24 years! Rebecca has a beautiful little family that includes her husband, two young daughters and her father with special needs, whom Rebecca cares for. Rebecca is passionate about ensuring families have equal access to opportunities in Eagle County because of the support she received from local programs while caring for her father and then becoming a parent.
Rebecca’s primary motivator for opening the Youth Closet & Toy Chest in 2020, beyond the COVID-19 response aspect, was to support healthy equity in our community through a sustainable lens. She continues to see every day how much of a need there is and how important this resource is for our community members.“Families can thrive because of the support from the Youth Closet. For example, thriving means moms and dads have the resources to provide their babies with a safe and healthy start to life because they have the basic supplies, like a bassinet and a breast pump, that otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to afford.”
When asked what advice Rebecca would have for youth in our community, she answered, “Get out of your own way! Meaning don't let your self-consciousness or fears get in the way of your success. Put yourself out there, ask questions, be a part of the discussion and know that it's okay if you don't have answers. Just being there and showing up is one of the most important things. If you engage with the opportunity you have you will learn and you will get something valuable out of the experience.”
By Hannah Conoley, Community Mobilizer for Mountain Youth