Giving season has descended upon us, and there are bountiful ways in which you can give back to the local Denver community. The holidays can be a difficult time for many families and individuals struggling with homelessness, poverty and difficult times. Here is a compiled list of a few big events and organizations that you can donate to or volunteer with this November and December.
When: Thursday, November 22 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: P.F. Chang’s (1 W Flatiron Crossing Dr Unit 500, Bldg. 5, Broomfield, CO 80021, USA)
Questions? Contact Tiphanie Birmingham at DenverCO@operationturkey.com
The Lowdown: Operation Turkey has been around for 18 years and was conceived when its founder thought his Thanksgiving leftovers might help someone else. In 13 cities with the manpower of 20,000 volunteers, Operation Turkey served 50,000 meals in 2017 to the homeless and less fortunate. With the goal of serving 75,000 meals this Thanksgiving day from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., they definitely need your help through making an online donation, volunteering your time or starting your own fundraiser on their behalf.
45th Annual Mile High United Way Turkey Trot
When: Thursday, November 22 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Washington Park, Denver
Questions? Contact them on their event page.
The Lowdown: This favorite Thanksgiving tradition often has more than 20,000 people flocking to Wash Park on Thanksgiving morning. The Turkey Trot is a four-mile run around Wash Park with all proceeds benefiting Mile High United Way in their goal of education, health and financial stability for the Denver Metro area. You can register to run the race or you can volunteer for the duration of the event.
Denver Rescue Mission’s Turkey Drive
When: Tuesday, November 20
Where: The box distribution takes place at Mile High Stadium (1701 Bryant St., Denver).
Questions? Contact Rachel Deets at 303.331.2915.
The Lowdown: The Denver Rescue Mission is back with its Annual Turkey Drive. The Denver Rescue Mission aims to provide a traditional Thanksgiving meal for those who are struggling with homelessness and poverty. Partnering with 100 agencies — including churches, schools and non-profits — they distribute more than 3,000 Thanksgiving food boxes. This year, they are looking for monetary and turkey donations.
Denver Rescue Mission
The Lowdown: The Denver Rescue Mission works year round to support the Denver community in-need. This holiday season, you can help out by donating critical winter items like coats, gloves and hats. They will also be accepting help in their kitchens year-round and are in need of men’s work clothing, new socks and underwear.
Denver Inner City Parish’s Christmas Gift Distribution
When: Friday, December 14th from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Where: 1212 Mariposa St., Denver
Questions? If you would like to contribute, reach out to Charlotte at 303.629.0636 x231.
The Lowdown: For over 40 years, the Denver Inner City Parish has mustered their forces to allow underprivileged parents to come pick out Christmas gifts for their children at their annual Christmas Gift Distribution event. One of the largest of its kind, the Denver Inner City Parish distributes over 3,000 gifts. This unique and heart-warming event is made possible through gift and monetary donations from generous people like you and volunteers.
A Precious Child’s Precious Gift Program
The Lowdown: A Precious Child aims to provide underprivileged children with all the support and resources they need to empower their futures. The Precious Gift program collects donations of new toys, gifts and gift cards for the age range of infants through teenagers. Families who then shop the Resource Center of A Precious Child can then pick from these donated gifts. The need for gifts dramatically spikes during the holiday season, so they need all the help that they can get. You can donate, host your own drive, volunteer, be a sponsor and much more.
More information on how to donate can be found at their website.
Toys for Tots
Questions? For drop-off locations and volunteering, contact the local coordinating officer, Sgt Cheyenna Natonabah, at AuroraT4T@usmc.mil or 303-472-7054.
The Lowdown: A holiday favorite, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program will accept toy donations this holiday season as well. The goal of this program is to deliver new toys to youth in the hopes of encouraging them to become wonderful citizens. The program has been short on toys in recent years, and they need all the help they can get. You can donate toys or funds or host your own drop-off location.
Donations and Giving At Any Time
Don’t have the time to donate or volunteer for specific events? Many organizations and charities will accept donations year-round from funds to food to clothing. A few places you can donate to include Food Bank of the Rockies, Bienvenidos Food Bank and the Salvation Army of Colorado.
If you are interested in aiding more specific groups of at-risk individuals, consider giving your time to The Delores Project or Safehouse Denver. The Delores Project aims to provide safe and comfortable shelter and resources to women and transgender individuals who are experiencing homelessness. You can donate or volunteer by serving as a meal provider, meal server, errand runner, hosting donation drives, etc. Safehouse Denver is an emergency shelter and resource hub for adults, children and youth who are experiencing domestic violence. They accept donations and look for volunteers to fulfill a variety of tasks like responding to the crisis line, fundraising, mail stuffing, facilitating group activities and more.
Donating and volunteering efforts extend far beyond the few months of November and December, and many people in the Denver area still need help year-round. Give what you can — whether that is time, money, food or donated items — to a community in need so all of Denver can feel a little love this giving season.