By Kelly Werthmann

(CBS4) – A great part of being in Colorado is enjoying the outdoors and a local nonprofit is dedicated to making sure everyone can do that. Yet after only three years of operation, they’re not sure how much longer they’ll be able to continue.

Michelle Malek (credit: CBS)

The mission at the core of Always Choose Adventures (ACA) is to help people of all ages, backgrounds, skill levels and physical abilities access the outdoors. They encourage everyone and anyone to get off the couch, disconnect from technology and instead get outside while connecting with others.

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“You can just show up, no matter what your ability, and you have instant community,” Michelle Malek, a new member of ACA, said.

CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann interviews Michelle Malek. (credit: CBS)

Michelle recently joined ACA on a trip to the Sand Dunes with her husband. It was an adventure she wasn’t sure was even possible for her to accomplish.

“Two years ago, I was hit by a driver who was looking down at their phone. I obtained a pretty significant traumatic brain injury with lifelong impairments,” Michelle told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.

Thanks to ACA, Michelle is out exploring Colorado, trying new things, often alongside others facing challenges of their own.

“I found if my friend, Barry, who also has a traumatic brain injury can do it, then I can do it,” she said. “It really inspired me to just out there and do things that I thought were completely out of my realm.”

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That’s a big reason why Chantelle Shoaee founded ACA. She began organizing group adventures after realizing how the outdoors changed her life.

“When you disconnect from your phone, amazing things happen,” she said.

CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann interviews Chantelle Shoaee, founder of ACA. (credit: CBS)

Chantelle has poured her heart, soul and bank account into the organization that’s helped thousands of people enjoy adventures around the state. Yet the nonprofit is struggling to make ends meet and desperately needs donations and sponsors to keep going.

“If we don’t get the funding, our members don’t get to go adventure,” Chantelle said tearfully.

Members like Michelle don’t want to see the life-changing trips come to an end, so she’s hopeful people will step in to help.

“We need to do something quickly,” she said.

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If you or your company are interested in supporting the organization, you can reach Chantelle via email at info@alwayschooseadventures.org, or visit the Always Choose Adventures Facebook page. They group is also seeking grants and grant writers.

Kelly Werthmann