UpDoNA Cares – January 2024

There continue to be many local organizations and projects that require volunteers to support the needs of our community. Please join our Cares Committee if you want to get more involved. Examples of recent activities and those coming up:

October 20 – Six UpDoNA members attended an event called a co-generational forum on homelessness organized by Capitol Hill United Methodist Church. There were over 100 attendees at the event to network and brainstorm around strategies to coordinate nonprofits and church groups in homelessness initiatives. There was a panel of women who had moved from homeless situations to productive lives who spoke of case managers and volunteers being their lifelines out of a way of life that had been extremely depersonalizing and traumatic. Really NO ONE chooses to live in dire circumstances. There are MANY agencies out there doing as much as they can – but what is often lacking is coordination of these efforts. Anyone who wants to volunteer can find a group that fits them! For more info https://www.chumdenver.org/

November 11 – Four UpDoNA members joined STEP Denver residents and staff for a cleanup of the neighborhood around STEP. Working side-by-side with these people to clean up the neighborhood and have lunch together, while hearing their stories and talking about what UpDoNA does, was a great experience for everyone involved!

December 1 – A group of Cares Committee members made and then served lunch to the current residents at The Delores Project. Interacting directly with the homeless people there makes the work/donations much more personal. The positive feedback from the residents is certainly heartwarming. See attached 3 images of Cares Committee members At Delores (all photos by Helen Hedrick).

December – We helped with efforts at STEP Denver and The Delores Project to purchase holiday gifts for residents and to spread the word about donating on Colorado Gives Day to support these and other organizations. We also promoted/encouraged members to donate gifts for children (new clothing, toys, etc.) to the efforts coordinated by Kristen Deak and others at Spire. This supports children at The Gathering Place and The Boys and Girls Club in Denver.

Early 2024 – Lisa Pope has been contacted about clothing needs for recently homeless Denverites, newly housed as part of the Housing 1000 initiative. After the holidays we will work on the logistics of an effort to help provide socks and underwear, hats and gloves, winter jackets, long pants/sweatpants, shoes and work/interview clothing. Look forward to more information about how you can help in the coming weeks!

Thumbnail photo attribution: https://cairns.health.qld.libguides.com/socialwork

Previous President’s Message – December 2023
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UpDoNA is a City Registered Neighborhood Organization representing the community of Denver’s Upper Downtown.

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