Amp the Cause
Amp the Cause, a Denver-based nonprofit founded 16 years ago by Christie and Walter Isenberg, formally launched its Fill the Void program to alleviate hunger by providing reliable access to food through grocery gift cards. The goal of Fill the Void is threefold: to ease the burden on overrun food banks, to supplement the SNAP programs and to ensure that students who are out of school continue to have reliable access to food. Christie Isenberg invites everyone to support Denver’s children and families by learning more about Amp the Cause and Fill the Void by visiting fillthevoidcolorado.org. “We can do great things when we come together as a community,” she says. Isenberg also says that her organization welcomes gift cards to Walmart, Safeway and King Soopers, along with monetary donations, this holiday season.
CeDAR is a nonprofit addiction treatment center located on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. Its drug and alcohol treatment programs “not only save lives, they provide a meaningful foundation for long-term recovery from addiction,” says senior director Susan Dearing-Bond. CeDAR serves adults aged 18 and older by offering evidence-based recovery programs. “COVID-19 has greatly affected those who suffer from the disease of addiction and their need for treatment,” Dearing-Bond adds. “CeDAR is committed to providing essential counseling for as many people as possible during this crisis.” Donations to CeDAR’s capital, endowment and scholarship funds are encouraged this holiday season – and throughout the year.
Children’s Diabetes Foundation
The Children’s Diabetes Foundation serves as the fundraising and education arm of the Barbara Da- vis Center for Diabetes, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The center, located on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, treats thousands of patients with Type 1 diabetes from across the country and around the world. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease that requires constant monitoring and decision-making. “With your help,” says executive director Dana Davis, “we can help keep patients healthy and one day find a cure.” Davis adds that the foundation’s holiday wish list includes monetary donations that will be used to fund critical patient programs and for gift cards from local businesses to give to food-insecure patient families.
Colorado Pet Pantry
What’s a pet parent to do when times are tight and there’s barely enough money for rent? Enter the Colorado Pet Pantry, which provides food for pets, allowing people to keep their dogs and cats instead of relinquishing them to a shelter. Founder and executive director Eileen Lambert points out that Colorado Pet Pantry hosts 62 monthly pet food banks per year and helps 90-plus animal rescue organizations with food and supplies. Lambert’s holiday wish list is for donations of dry pet food or financial support. “A $5 donation feeds a pet for a month,” she says, adding that the additional resources will help Colorado Pet Pantry as it expands its services to include the Western Slope.
Denver Rescue Mission
Denver Rescue Mission has served those experiencing homelessness since 1892. “During these challenging times,” says president and chief executive officer Brad Meuli, “We’ve continued to provide meals, shelter and life-saving programs to thousands of people in need, but we need your help. Your financial gifts will allow us to continue this lifesaving work. Your donations of winter clothing and hygiene items will help protect our homeless neighbors. Your heart to volunteer means we can continue serving warm meals to struggling men, women and families every day. At Denver Rescue Mission we fight hunger to give strength and despair to give hope. Will you join this fight?”
“Three simple words define the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado,” says chief executive officer Sar- ah Klein: Connecting, Educating and Empowering. “We work to reduce stigma and raise awareness by educating schools, employers and the community and by empowering people affected by epilepsy with knowledge, resources and advocacy to live their best lives.” In 2019, she adds, the foundation launched an outreach program to the Hispanic community, provided resources to 600 newly diagnosed individuals, visited 500 patients in epilepsy monitoring units, awarded $5,000 in emergency assistance and increased its Preferred Provider Network. This holiday season the foundation welcomes teddy bears, stress balls, books and games for inclusion in the care packages given to newly diagnosed kids; gift cards for massages, hair and nail salons, yoga classes and meal kits to be included in “wellness kits” given to caregivers; and toothbrushes, soap, snacks and socks to be distributed to those with epilepsy who are experiencing homelessness.
Even a worldwide pandemic couldn’t stop Firefly Autism from making big strides this year. In June Firefly moved from cramped quarters in Denver to a spacious new headquarters in Lakewood. The new locale, says executive director Jesse Ogas, “allows us not only to grow in terms of enrollment but to expand our services. In September we added a diagnostic center and began providing a host of other services, including mental health support, an adult program, parent support groups, sibling groups, parent training groups and sibling daycare.” As with most nonprofit organizations, he adds, “COVID-19 has impacted Firefly but it hasn’t stopped us from serving our families. Your financial support of any amount, plus gifts of iPads and/or laptops, can make a big difference for the children we serve.”
Hope Starts Here
Hope Starts Here is a food and community outreach program for the estimated 135,000 food-insecure families living in the Centennial-based nonprofit’s service area. Some 5,200 individuals per month receive HSH’s food distributions. In addition to providing food, HSH also offers case management, nutrition education and job training/networking services to families living in poverty. Donations of food, cash and volunteer time are always welcome. The money will go to such capital projects as the purchase of a new truck; construction of a Resource Center to better accommodate the partners that offer financial, legal, health and job services to HSH clients; a shelter that will help shield the volunteers who currently distribute food year-round from an uncovered parking lot; and the creation of a garden where fruit and vegetables can be grown.
Invest In Kids
Invest In Kids partners with local communities to improve the health and well-being of Colorado’s youngest children and their families. By bridging research and practice, IIK serves as a catalyst to adopt, implement and scale the programs proven to best serve them. Last year, IIK reached more than 17,000 Colorado children and families through its evidence-based programs: the Nurse Family Partnership, The Incredible Years and Child First. Executive Director Lisa Hill’s holiday wish is for monetary donations to help meet the increased need to support nurses, teachers and families.
Jewish Family Service
Jewish Family Service is dedicated to strengthening the community by providing vital services to vulnerable individuals and families. JFS annually serves some 15,000 people of all faiths, races, ages, incomes and abilities through programs that include support for older adults; summer meal delivery to young people living in food deserts; mental health counseling; financial assistance to people in crisis, and job training and placement for those with significant barriers to employment. With the increased demand for services precipitated by COVID-19 – JFS’ Weinberg Food Pantry, for example, has seen a 400 percent jump in clients – the most needed gifts this season are cash to purchase food and to provide rent assistance, along with diapers, baby wipes and other items found on the JFS Amazon Wish List.
Junior League of Denver
Founded in 1918, the Junior League of Denver is a training organization for women that promotes voluntarism, develops the potential of women and helps to improve the Denver community. Its current focus is to improve literacy rates and provide access to books for children in Denver through third grade via programs, community partnerships and advocacy efforts. The league also offers volunteers to other nonprofits through its Done in a Day program. The league started, or aided in starting, many well-known Denver institutions, including the Mile High Transplant Bank (now Donor Alliance), the Children’s Museum of Denver and the Red Rocks concerts. Those wishing to support the JLD this holiday season may do so by purchasing any of its six award-winning cookbooks, donating Amazon gift cards or cash to purchase children’s’ books and program supplies.
National Jewish Health
For 121 years, National Jewish Health has been at the forefront of research and medical care focusing on lung, heart and immune-related diseases. Long ranked the nation’s leading respiratory hospital by U.S. News & World Report, National Jewish Health is headquartered in Denver and as the world faces the challenge of COVID-19, the expertise of its world-renowned doctors and researchers has turned to defeating this pandemic. NJH also continues to care for its patients–adults and children–who need the level of care and treatment only provided by this specialized institution. One of its key programs is Morgridge Academy, the nation’s only K-8 school located on a medical campus. It is where some 70 chronically ill children are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment. Financial contributions to the academy and to cutting-edge care, research and testing to defeat the COVID-19 virus are especially welcome.
Roundup River Ranch
When the late actor Paul Newman started the SeriousFun Children’s Network (formerly Hole in the Wall Gang Camps), it was with the idea that each would be a place for kids with serious illnesses to “raise a little hell” while spending time in a worry-free, zero price tag environment. Roundup River Ranch in the Vail Valley town of Gypsum is one of those camps, thanks to the generosity of local philanthropist Alison Knapp and other donors who fund the year-round programs offered free of charge for children and their families from an 11-state Rocky Mountain region. Roundup River Ranch’s holiday wish list is for donations that will be used to fund camper sponsorships, RRR’s innovative and virtual programs, and Joy, Delivered, boxes containing ingredients for at least 10 do-it-yourself, camp-themed activities. Contents can include art, movement and STEM activities, kid-friendly recipes, solar fairy lights, jokes and riddles.
Tennyson Center for Children
Tennyson Center for Children works with every child and family impacted by trauma to realize their infinite possibilities. Since its founding as an orphanage in Loveland in 1904, Tennyson Center for Children has served Colorado’s most neglected, abused and traumatized children. “We provide a safe home for kids facing critical circumstances,” says chief executive officer Ned Breslin. “We have a therapeutic K-12 school on our campus and in-home services to strengthen families and children. In 2019 we began leading a collaborative effort seeking to keep families safely together and reduce the number of those involved with child welfare.” Due to the uncertainties associated with COVID-19, cash donations are being sought this holiday season. “They allow us to respond to the rapidly changing needs of our kids and families,” Breslin explains.
The Wild Animal Sanctuary
Executive Director Pat Craig proudly notes that for more than 40 years, The Wild Animal Sanctuary has “worked tirelessly to give new hope and life to some of the most incredible, yet most voiceless, animals on the planet.” He adds that by rescuing captive-born large carnivores like tigers, lions, bears and wolves from abusive, neglectful and illegal situations around the world, the sanctuary restores the dignity of these animals while combatting the captive wildlife crisis. Located in Keenesburg, The Wild Animal Sanctuary is the world’s largest such entity, with more than 500 rescued animals currently living on more than 10,000 acres of natural, large-acreage habitats. Craig and his team would especially welcome monetary donations, Home Depot gift cards and to help in the purchase of additional land to expand the sanctuary.
Urban Peak is the only organization in the Denver metro area that provides a full continuum of services for youths between the ages of 15 and 24 who are experiencing homelessness. “We use a strengths-based case management model to work with some of our community’s most vulnerable young people and support them in reaching their goals,” explains CEO Christina Carlson. “Through our street outreach, drop-in center, stabilization shelter, housing, education and employment services–and Peak Thrift, our social enterprise thrift store–we ignite the potential in youth to exit homelessness and live self-determined, fulfilled lives.” Items that would be welcomed this holiday season are donations of men’s and women’s underwear, gift cards (King Soopers and Walmart are most utilized) and items from Urban Peak’s Amazon wish list.
Volunteers of America
Volunteers of America Colorado is a nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need transform their lives. Each year VOA’s 50-plus human service programs reach 140,000 vulnerable Coloradans. This holiday season, in light of COVID-19, President David Schunk encourages the donation of money to further support VOA’s housing, emergency shelter, hunger and nutrition programs; and $25 gift cards from Safeway, King Soopers, Walmart, Target and Amazon. The cards will be given in place of toys for children this year. They can be mailed to VOA Colorado, attention Bradley Gulley, 2660 Larimer St., Denver CO 80205.
We Don’t Waste
We Don’t Waste, started by Arlan Preblud in 2009, was founded with the belief that excess food should go to people, not landfills. This remains the focus today as Preblud, his staff and volunteers significantly reduce hunger and food waste in the Denver area by recovering quality, unused food from restaurants, caterers, event venues and other industry sources and delivering it, free of charge, to food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, youth-focused programs and more. In 2019, We Don’t Waste distributed more than 26 million servings of nutritious food to approximately 300,000 food-insecure individuals in our community. “During this time of crisis,” Preblud says, “We Don’t Waste’s biggest needs are financial donations, volunteers and connections to sources that may have excess food to give.“
Warren Village, since its start in 1974, has focused on creating opportunity and community tools that empower formerly homeless, low-income single parents to change the trajectories of their lives by achieving sustainable personal and economic self-sufficiency. To date, Warren Village has served 5,200 children and their parents through its holistic, two-generation approach that includes safe and affordable housing, early childhood education and parent services and advocacy. Because of COVID-19 restrictions regarding in-person contact, Warren Village encourages donors to visit its website for information regarding holiday season donations of cash and new items for its residents and alumni.
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