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Colorado Gives Day: This site teaches kids the importance of giving in a fun way

Join one of the largest one-day giving movements in the country.

Each December Coloradans come together with the common goal to strengthen the community by helping to power nonprofits. Community First Foundation and FirstBank partner to make this day rewarding for givers, nonprofits and the community as a whole.

Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday, December 10, and features a $1.5 Million Incentive Fund. Every nonprofit receiving a donation on Colorado Gives Day will receive a portion of the fund, increasing the value of every dollar donated. Colorado Gives Day has grown to be the state’s largest one-day online giving event, raising more than $217 million since it began in 2010. 

Kid-Friendly Giving

Do you want to give to Colorado kids? KidsforColoradoGives.org is a kid-friendly addition to ColoradoGives.org. Launched in September 2016, this awesome site was designed for kids and families to inspire the next generation of givers.

It makes giving to charity fun for the whole family in a trusted environment. 

There are several ways for you to be a Kid for ColoradoGives:

1. Ask parents, grandparents or other important adults in your life to purchase a Giving eCard(s) and send it to you. These Giving eCards can be redeemed on KidsforColoradoGives.org and make great birthday and holiday gifts!

2. Talk to your parents about how you can earn Giving eCards through special projects, chores or volunteering.

3. For more ideas, checkout their Pinterest board on kids giving.

What kind of giver are you? Download a free Giving Activity Kit or take this quiz to find out and remember to GIVE!

Holiday service: When was the last time you bought a piglet from a vending machine?

What if donating to charity was as easy as buying a candy bar?

Imagine swiping your credit card at a vending machine and instead of buying a candy bar for yourself, you buy a piglet for a family in a third-world country. Or a polio vaccine. Or a pair of shoes. Or 100 meals for your local food bank. With the #LightTheWorld Giving Machines, that’s exactly what happens.  Denver is one of only ten cities around the globe to host the Giving Machines which provide a way for people to quickly and easily help those in need and make their Christmas season a little more meaningful for themselves–and countless others. 

Location: The Giving Machines will be located at Writer Square at 16th and Lawrence in Downtown Denver.

Times: The machines will open November 26, 2019 at 11 am and be open every day from 9 am to 11 pm through January 1, 2020.

What is the background?

The Giving Machines started in 2017 with the simple idea of “how might we give people the opportunity to perform an instant act of service?” These unique vending machines allow people to purchase books, meals, personal care items, fresh food, clean water and even lambs and piglets for people in need.

In 2017, just four machines in Salt Lake City, UT raised over $550,000 for global and local causes. In 2018, the program expanded to New York, London, Manila and Gilbert, AZ, and raised $2.3 million more.

2018 Highlights

$2,309,844 in donations paid for:

702,527 meals
19,640 chickens
4,766 goats
3,703 polio vaccines
2,312 resuscitation kits for babies
1,672 eye exams and glasses
Many other items ranging from backpacks to mosquito nets to sporting goods
92,190 people participated

18 charities benefited

5 cities in three countries.

Light the World Giving Machines are sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is covering machine costs, administrative fees and donation overhead. Go to givingmachinesdenver.com for more information. 

4 ways to volunteer with your family for the holidays

Volunteers of American is Holiday Giving Central for the holidays. Here are four impactful ways to serve with your family with links to sign-ups.

Santa Shop

On December 23rd  VOA will give away over 5,000 toys to kids ranging in ages 0 -18 years old. We need your help! Donate NEW and unwrapped toys to the Santa Shop and help a family in need have a special Holiday Season! Toys can be dropped off at the VOA Admin Building- 2660 Larimer St., Denver any time in November and December before Friday, December 20th. Please mark them “Santa Shop.”  

 

 

 

Be Santa for a Family in Need!

You can help a family in need for the holidays through our Adopt-a-Family program! You will be able to select the family size you want to adopt, be given their wishlist and then can go buy items for the whole family. This is a great program for families, corporations, groups and indivduals to give back. 
 
 
 
 
 

 Donate to “Home For the Holidays”

Beginning in December 2019, Volunteers of America will be ready to lease up a new affordable housing community in Denver with 103 apartments. Many individuals and families will be exiting homelessness for this new apartment; their first home in a long time. These folks generally have no household items at all. You can help by contributing one or more of the Household start-up kits to helps us say “Welcome Home!”
 
 
 
 
 

 Volunteer for the 2019 Resolution 5K

On December 31, 2019, volunteer at Denver’s oldest New Year’s Eve running event that supports Volunteers of America.  Volunteers will be doing basic race activities like registration, racecourse set up, racecourse monitoring, packet handout and clean up. All ages of volunteers are welcome but activities are most appropriate for 10 years and older. Some duties may be outside and require walking and standing. Location: Washington Park 1700 E Louisiana Denver, CO 80210

Join Our Movement for Accessible, Affordable and High-Quality Childcare

Denver mom Beth Slaboda decided to look into going back into teaching a few years ago. She had been working as a private part-time math tutor in the evenings and she thought going back would give her family a little more consistent income. She was wrong.

“We looked into childcare for our two kiddos and quickly realized that any extra I would make teaching (after paying for childcare) would be equal to or LESS than what I was making tutoring. I have such respect for single parents…I don’t know how they do it!”

Beth is not alone–Colorado has some of the priciest childcare in the country. According to the Economic Policy Institute’s 2019 report, a year’s worth of childcare costs thousands more than in-state college tuition over the same timeframe. A year’s worth of infant care is also higher than the average annual cost of housing in Colorado.

Can we just process that for a moment? Your child’s daycare costs more than college and housing. 

Being able to provide for our families is at the very core of who we are as parents. When I was approached by Colorado-based Affordable Child Care Now!, I was immediately struck by the urgency of their bipartisan message: “Many of the Presidential candidates have told us they are not hearing from their constituents that childcare affordability is a crisis.”

LET US BE HEARD!  By adding your voice, you are a part of the collective megaphone advocating for the importance of accessible, affordable, quality childcare.

The Stats Don’t Lie

So, why care about childcare, even if you are not directly impacted? According to the campaign’s research:

  • Investing in high quality, early childhood education and care pay off. Every dollar we spend now saves up to $11 in later spending on social programs, criminal justice costs, and more. 
  • Children who participated in high-quality early childhood education had higher college graduation rates and rates of employment at the age of 30 than peers who did not have access to high-quality early childhood education. 
  • Not only does high quality, early childhood education and care provide the foundation for a child’s success later in life, it can also break the poverty cycle. We know that investing in our children today will save taxpayer dollars later on.

Take Action (It’s Easy!) 

Go to Care for All Children to learn more about how your signature can influence the government to take a two-generation approach to their policies and investments—an approach that is both feasible and sustainable for working parents and preparing our youngest learners the opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed. 

By signing the petition you are agreeing to raise your voice as a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, neighbor, employer, childcare provider, as someone who benefits and loses in society when we do not stand up for young children, hard-working families, and our economy.

It’s time to call for affordable childcare for all children by signing the petition:

 

 

 

Across the country, Americans are calling for equal access to affordable care for all children. Take a look at who is supporting the movement in your region and roll up your sleeves to move the needle. Let’s make a difference in the lives of our children and Colorado families!

Mile High Mamas is proudly partnering with Care for All Children. Make a difference in the lives of Colorado families. 

Packz 4 Kidz campaign to help low-income kids on August 1

Do you want to make a difference in a child’s life?

FOX31 and Colorado’s Own Channel 2 are proud to again support this year’s Packz 4 Kidz campaign as part of the Kenzi’s Causes program. Tune in Thursday, August 1st for the FOX31 and  Channel 2 hosted phonebank all to benefit Packz 4 Kidz.

As a former teacher for Denver Public Schools, Jessica Bachus, founder of Kenzi’s Causes and Packz 4 Kidz, saw first-hand children arriving on the first day of school without the necessary supplies to be successful and feel like everyone else. This would spark the idea and creation of the Packz 4 Kidz campaign. It is the goal this year to again provide over 1,500 low-income children with new backpacks full of school supplies to ensure they start the first day of school with the confidence and supplies they need to be successful. This program serves children in ECE through 12th grade.

Those wanting to support this cause can donate to help in the purchase of these supplies. Donations can be made in the way of supplies or monetarily by tuning in to the FOX31 and Channel 2 phone bank on Thursday, August 1st from 6a-Noon. All donations collected will benefit the Packz 4 Kidz campaign.

Phone bank number: 303-218-2337

All proceeds raised will go directly to the purchase of backpacks and the accommodating items. Backpacks will be stuffed with supplies and will be ready for distribution on Saturday, August 10th.

For more information, click here.

Packz 4 Kidz Pick Up Event

When: August 10, 2019 
Location: TBD

Details for backpack pickup:

  • Parents or legal guardians must attend with their children in order to receive backpacks with supplies
  • Children must be present to receive a backpack unless you have a picture ID and a birth certificate for a child or children unable to attend
  • First come, first served for backpacks and school supplies  – no pre-registration
  • A survey must be filled out before children can pick out a backpack

For more information, click here.

Denver Day of Service: Family fun for a great cause!

As a part of the NFL’s “Huddle for 100” initiative encouraging fans to do at least 100 minutes of volunteer work, the Broncos and Mile High United Way are hosting the inaugural “Denver Day of Service” on June 7. These projects will all kickoff at 9:00 a.m. and last for a minimum of 100 minutes each. The goal is to encourage and host one day dedicated to volunteerism throughout the entire city!

More than 20 organizations have committed to hosting projects. Volunteers can sign up by visiting:  https://volunteer.unitedwaydenver.org/event/104732-Denver-Day-of-Service.  Additional volunteer projects will be added in the coming weeks. Please continue to check back for availability.

Summer Food Service Program for Kids in Need

During the summer months, several locations across the state serve healthy school meals to children up to age 18.

The Summer Food Service Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, offers “food that’s in when school is out.” Approved sites include schools, recreation centers, churches and other safe, community locations, and many offer activities for children, too. All children have equal access to services and facilities at the site regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. 

What does a child need to do to receive a meal?

Kids Cafe

There are no income or registration requirements —any child, age 18 or younger, can simply show up during the scheduled serving times to receive a meal. All meals must be eaten at the site, and adults may not eat from a child’s meal.

Where can I find a site?

View the interactive map to find a location near you!

How can my location become a summer meal site?

We are accepting applications now for summer food sites. Please contact Cathy Schmelter, Nutrition Network Manager, 303.375.5868, cschmelter@foodbankrockies.org to learn more and receive an application.

Family holiday fun at Outlets at Castle Rock that gives back

To celebrate the arrival of Jolly Old St. Nick, Outlets at Castle Rock hosts a special family-friendly celebration on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. dubbed ‘Santa’s Big Day.’ The morning begins with a pancake breakfast with the Big Guy Himself (Santa), by Flippin’ Flapjacks, in the Food Court. All donations benefit Denver Rescue Mission.

The event will also include children’s Christmas coloring activities, sleigh rides, and even real reindeer! 

Breakfast will be served from 8:30-10:00 a.m. with Santa, Sleigh Rides and real reindeer will be available from 10-11:00 a.m., and at 10:30 a.m. the Elves will kick the annual off Run Run Rudolph Scavenger Hunt.

Breakfast is $5/person, a donation directly to Denver Rescue Mission. Or, instead of a monetary donation, you can bring a new or gently used item to be gifted to a family in need for the holidays. A list of items needed is below. 

  •          Warm hats
  •          Warm gloves
  •          Warm socks
  •          Warm coats
  •          Toys
  •          Holiday canned food items (Boxed mashed potatoes, dry stuffing, canned vegetables, etc.)

We hope to see everyone in the food court to eat breakfast with Santa Claus and to contribute to a local organization that serves the community. For more information about Denver Rescue Mission please go to: www.denverrescuemission.org

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Additional Santa Claus activities scheduled for the 2018 holiday season are detailed below:
 
Dec. 2 & 9 – “Santa Cares” Creates Holiday Magic for Children with Special Needs
On Sundays, Dec. 2 and 9 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Outlets at Castle Rock will host two “Santa Cares” events, providing children with special needs a warm, quiet environment and sensory activities to help reduce behavioral triggers associated with this bustling time of year for a perfect picture with Santa.  The center will be providing a warm and quiet wait space, eliminating the need to stand in line and providing special activities such as coloring books and special sensory books from the Douglas County Library that will keep children engaged and prepare them for their visit with Santa. Registration is encouraged; however, walk-ins are welcome.
 
Dec. 16 – Pet Night with Santa
On Sunday, Dec. 16 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., shoppers are invited to bring along their furry, feathery or fuzzy friend for a special “Pet Night with Santa” photo opportunity. Guests are asked to be sure pets are on leashes or appropriate harnesses. All friendly pets are welcome.
 
Nov. 17 through Dec. 24 – Santa Claus Photos
Santa Claus will be posing for complimentary photos from Nov. 17 until Christmas Eve. Professional photo packages will also be available for purchase. Hours vary and can be found at outletsatcastlerock.com.
 
Outlets at Castle Rock is conveniently located between the Denver Metro Area and Colorado Springs region at I-25 and Exit 184 and Exit 185 in Castle Rock, Colo.

New Denver Playground Gives Kids Much Needed Escape

More than 60 children at The Crossing are getting an updated playground and courtyard area to enjoy with their families as they seek to stabilize their lives toward self-sufficiency. Denver Rescue Mission unveiled the new outdoor space with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

“They love it, it’s beautiful. They love going to the park so now they got a park at their home,” said Keneshia Heard. She and her kids are staying at The Crossing in Northeast Park Hill, a Denver Rescue Mission facility. For months they’ve been moving from motel to motel but finally have some stability thanks to The Crossing. She says this playground gives her kids a safe place to just be kids.

More than $120,000 were raised by multiple donors to complete the playground. Additionally, Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray, also the founder of the Ray’s Awareness Foundation, in partnership with Good Sports donated all of the athletic equipment, like basketballs, soccer balls, baseballs and more.

Holiday volunteer events for the whole family

Volunteers of America is holiday central with lots of ways to give back! Here are a few volunteer opportunities for the whole family:

Rake Up Colorado
The Safety of Seniors Handyman Program invites Volunteers to join us for Rake Up Colorado!    In total, volunteers will rake at least 250 yards for seniors residing in Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties. Come join us for an unbeLEAFable event! Sign up here.
When: Saturday, November 10th 
Where: At a seniors home in your area!
 
Deliver Holiday Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels delivers holiday meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Volunteers are needed to help deliver holiday meals and meals on the days around the holidays. Contact Michelle at mtrejo@voacolorado.org or 303-297-0408.
 
Thanksgiving Dinner Baskets
Volunteers needed to help hand out Turkey Dinner Baskets to families on the Monday before Thanksgiving. This event is suitable for all ages. Some positions are outside or near open doors. Most positions require standing and lifting. Click here to RSVP.
When: Monday, November, 19th (shifts available all day)
Where: VOA Mission, 2877 Lawrence St. in Denver
 
Christmas Dinner Baskets and Santa Shop
Volunteers need to help hand out Christmas Dinner Baskets and presents to families on the Monday before Christmas. This event is suitable for all ages. Some positions are outside or near open doors. Most positions require standing and lifting.
The following Tuesday we will be distributing gifts to families in need and will also need volunteers for that. 
When: Monday, December 17th and Tuesday, December 18th (shifts available all day)
Where: VOA Mission, 2877 Lawrence St. in Denver
 
Become a Snow Buddy
Keep a limited income senior safe by shoveling his or her sidewalks throughout the snowy seasons. We make a match between a client and a volunteer who live within two miles of each other. Then, when there is a snowfall of 2 or more inches, we ask the volunteers to shovel the sidewalk and walkway for their assigned senior within 24 hours. Find out more details.
 
Be Santa for a Family in Need!

 You can help a family in need for the holidays through our Adopt-a-Family program! You will be able to select the family size you want to adopt, be given their wishlist and then can go buy items for the whole family. This is a great program for families, corporations, groups and indivduals to give back. Sign up by clicking the button below or email Nichole Rogers at nrogers@voacolorado.org.