The Community Outreach Department has been quite busy this holiday season! Starting in October, we hosted a Trunk or Treat event at the Aurora office where about 40 families attended with approximately 150 people overall. We had 15 trunks and several volunteers from the Denver Junior League and College Track. Children enjoyed trunk or treating, games and crafts, face painting, and a petting zoo put on by Hope Farms. Thank you to respite providers: To the Rescue, Continuum of Colorado, and Autism Society for setting up trunks and hanging out with families. Here is what one parent had to say,
“Everyone was so friendly to the kids and parents. We received some very good information about programs that we didn’t know about. The games inside were fun for the kids and the treats were good.”
November brought two annual drives: one for coats and one for Thanksgiving meal supplies. 16 families were provided new winter gear and 130 families received a free Thanksgiving meal! A big thank you to The Epworth Foundation who donated 102 meals! We also received 10 meals from the Integrated Family Community Services and a $500 King Soopers gift card from Arapahoe High School Marching Band and Color Guard. In total, $6,470 of in-kind donations (coats, food, meals) made these events possible.
December, as usual, was the climax of our busy holiday season. We put on two annual events: Pathways Holiday Outreach and Sweets with Santa. Our Case Management & Community Outreach departments received 546 gift requests from the community this year. All gifts were supplied by donors and sorted by volunteers and staff. 113 additional gifts were donated for our annual Sweets with Santa event! Families enjoyed cookies, punch, a picture with Santa and a gift. There were 114 children at the event this year, our largest attendance to date. Thanks to our generous donors, we were able to give away nearly $15,000 of in-kind presents to kiddos and families.
You may have noticed a theme here—that the generosity of people in our community affects change. We like to think of ourselves as the conduit for this process to take place. Thank you to our donors, community partners, volunteers, and staff who continue to spread joy throughout our neighborhoods. We’re looking forward to Spring 2017!