Our Mission

"Cultivating a stronger community by highlighting the gems within it."

Our Values

Whether the "gems" are small business restaurants, local heroes like our healthcare workers, or public spaces like city parks, we believe by doing good and promoting the good within the community, we can strengthen the community overall. 

Building Community

Rooting for the success of others to lift up members of our community.

Promoting Integration

Bringing people of all different ages, races, and backgrounds together for a common cause.

Embodying Altruism

A genuine passion for doing good things without expecting anything in return.

Our Story

TUF founders Chin, Darian, and Derrick, posing at the 2022 Fall Ball.

In the summer of 2020, a visit to a local black-owned restaurant sparked a significant initiative aimed at supporting small businesses in Denver. The restaurant, despite being listed as open on Google, was closing earlier than scheduled. A staff member explained, “Oh, we haven’t been able to get those changed for months.” This incident highlighted the challenges faced by small businesses and inspired the formation of The Underdog Family (TUF).

Founded by Chin Weerappuli, a first-generation Sri Lankan-American immigrant, TUF was established as a 501(c)(3) organization to connect local businesses with essential professional resources and alleviate financial burdens exacerbated by the pandemic. Weerappuli, along with Vice Presidents Derrick Knudsen and Darian Nocera, rapidly expanded the organization with the help of dedicated volunteers who shared their mission.

Since its inception, TUF has provided free technical services to over 20 small businesses and formed partnerships with numerous organizations and non-profits across Denver. Through these efforts, TUF has fostered community collaboration and support, driving positive change and resilience among local businesses.

Join Our Team

We have an awesome team that volunteers to dedicate their time to TUF's mission. Our skills-based volunteering model allows us to keep costs low and put more money back into small businesses and the community.

Volunteer opportunities