A central promise of the charter of the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association is to support local organizations that benefit our community. During our recent year-end Board meeting we decided which organizations to support with donations this year.
These are the organizations that will receive grants from the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association this year, and a little bit of information about each one.
Joy’s Kitchen rescues food that would otherwise be wasted, from supermarket overbuys and excess inventory due to sales variations. It is good food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh and frozen meats, canned goods, bakery and dairy products. They provide food to anyone who wants to come and get it. Their operating expenses are kept to a minimum by engaging the services of hundreds of volunteers. Still, the costs of doing this good work are substantial, due to operating and maintenance costs of their trucks, vans, and trailers going out and getting the food. Joy’s Kitchen operates entirely on donations and they are a charity dear to our heart in Southern Gables. We wrote about Joy’s Kitchen a few months ago: Pay Rent or Buy Food?
Green Gables Elementary School Giving Tree program. The program doesn’t just provide Christmas toys, but has matured to a full community support orientation. In a thank-you letter to the Association, Business Manager Jennifer Seltz told us, “As our school continues to grow, so do the needs of the families in our community. This year, we have 54 students and siblings signed up for the program. Many students need both tennis shoes and winter boots as well as winter clothing and coats. While we have families and community members that “adopt” students, we do not expect them to buy everything on the wish lists. With the additional funding you have provided we will be able to make sure each child gets the items they need from their wish lists. We will also be able to provide families needed personal hygiene items, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, and children’s bedding.”
Lakewood Police “Caring by Sharing” fund. According to Therese Megargee, Business Specialist with the LPD Support Services Division, Caring by Sharing assists Lakewood’s low-income senior residents with food baskets and gifts each December. In addition to providing food baskets to Lakewood senior residents, the program has supported the Action Center with donated backpacks.
Westwoods Community Church. In addition to steadfast support of the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association by supplying volunteers whenever we ask for our neighborhood projects and activities, Westwoods conducts volunteer service days on each month having a fifth Sunday. We have benefited from these special Sundays with cleanup and even some painting projects at the school campus and around the neighborhood.
Denver Christian School and Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms. Both of these organizations were central to our Leaf Day project this year, and we look forward to working with them in the future. Students from Denver Christian came and raked the leaves for our elderly and disabled residents who signed up for the free service – 41 homes in all. Then a truck from Chatfield Farms, driven by our favorite Soil Health Technician, Rutger Myers, came around and picked up all the bagged leaves and took them for composting and mulch. Two big truckloads! This saved over 7 tons of leaves from going into landfill waste, assuring they would benefit the earth instead. Since Lakewood started a “leaf drop week” at no charge this year instead of the one-day event that we used to have, the contributions of these two organizations are what allowed us to continue with this service for our elderly and disabled neighbors.
Marisol Homes provides safe and secure emergency and community-based extended-stay shelter for pregnant women and single women with children. They support families who need a safe place to stay as they get back on their feet, providing maternity care, case management, and child care services. The team at Marisol Homes provides nearly a dozen different classes to residents ranging from prenatal support to job skills and finance classes.
Earlier in the year we donated Magill’s gift cards to Carmody Middle School as raffle prizes for their Chili Cook-off fundraiser, and we conducted a Chipotle fundraiser for Green Gables Elementary. Both events were fun and exciting, with lots of kid energy. The Carmody Chili Cook-off was combined with a car show, attracting lots of interest and appreciation. At Chipotle I lingered for a while after having my meal, enjoying the excitement of having so many young families around. The restaurant donated 33% to the school. Great support from the Green Gables community!
Our year-end donations are a vital part of the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association mission. We are proud to support these fine organizations in their work, and we are looking forward to another year of working together in many ways for a better community.
Donation amounts and other information from the December Board meeting will be available in our public folder, bit.ly/sgna-records after they are written and reviewed.