Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were encouraged to participate in the National Day of Service and Remembrance to honor all those so deeply affected by the events of 9/11.

Although preparations for the day of service began late in the Boulder area, local church leaders and members joined together in planning, circulating
information, and hosting a variety of events in which the community and members could participate according to their choice and ability.

A cooperative effort between Vitalant and the Boulder Communication Council brought a blood drive to the Broomfield church building. Below are some of the highlights of the September 11 blood drive:

  • 37 donors were registered to give blood (out of a total drive capacity of 48 slots for donors)
  • 12 people made their first blood donation!
  • 27 whole blood donations made (each one helps three people)
  • 7 Double Red Blood Cell donations collected
  • 6 Plasma Apheresis donations collected (def: the removal of blood plasma from the body by the withdrawal of blood, its separation into plasma and cells, and the reintroduction of the cells, used especially to remove antibodies in treating autoimmune diseases.)
  • Total of 40 blood donations collected, saving 94 lives!

The goal of the drive was to collect 30 donations in total.

The Boulder coordinating representative from Vitalant said the following after the drive:

“Thank you for everything you did to engage congregants and the community with the blood drive! The time and effort you put into marketing the drive and getting people signed up ahead of time has helped A LOT of patients, while ensuring Vitalant remains sustainable to continue serving patients and hospitals in Colorado and beyond, and we’re grateful to count you among our friends. We couldn’t do our good work without you! Participating in this Day of Service blood drive was a heartwarming experience, thank you for the warm welcome to myself, Colleen and the entire donor care team.”

The second source presented to the community for service on this national day of observance was the opportunity to donate a day to the remodel of a future home in Gunbarrel, Colorado: As described by Habitat for Humanity:

“Flatirons Habitat will be remodeling homes that will be made available for
purchase to local families, at an affordable price. This is made possible
through a partnership with a Community Land Trust, expanding our ability
to serve more people in the community!”

Volunteers worked to repair the decks on two duplex units. Half of the group painted wood panels and trim. The other half of the group installed those panels on the underside of the second floor decks that also serve as carports.

Work involved painting, removing old screws and metal staples from under the decks, measuring and cutting the panels to the right sizes, adding some extra wood support pieces as necessary, and then nailing the newly painted and cut panels up.

Participants in this service which actually occurred on Saturday, September 12, included five volunteers.

Underside of Deck before work was done.
Underside of deck after work was completed

The third service option available on 9/11 was making a donation of new socks, hats and gloves for students in need in Erie and Broomfield through Erie Uplink.

Donations bins were located at the Erie Recreation Center and at the Broomfield Church building where the blood drive occurred. Lisa from Erie Uplink said the following in regards to the hefty amount of donations collected from the two locations:

“I am so touched by the generosity of the donations. I can’t wait for our team to see all the darling, high-quality donations when we meet on Wednesday. It looks like folks shopped for a variety of sizes, you can’t imagine how special it is for the kids we serve to receive new items that are just their size. We had almost two tubs of donations at the office over the weekend. We should have enough to provide each of the children in our Tiger Packs program with a new hat, pair of gloves or mittens, and 4-6 pairs of socks. Please pass our sincerest thanks along to the folks who participated in the 9/11 Day of Service- on behalf of the Erie kids who will be thrilled to receive these beautiful items, THANK YOU! – Lisa”

Provided to the community also for those who could not help in person on
this day, was an opportunity with There with Care. This organization’s
mission, “is to provide a wide range of thoughtful and fundamental services
to families and children during the critical phase of a medical crisis.” A
representative from There with Care established a “wish list” of items on
Amazon where people could choose to purchase and donate online.

Although at the time of this writing a definite amount of donations or an itemlized list of items was not available, There with Care stated that donations well exceeded $200.

Community and church members were further encouraged to seek out their
own opportunities to serve their community as individuals and families.
Through the coordinated efforts of the Boulder Stake Presidency and
Communication Council, and the hours, dollars and unselfishness of those who so kindly gave of themselves in service, this year’s 9/11 National Day of
Service and Remembrance was a success!


As we move into phase two of Governor Jared Polis’ Safer At Home Initiative, many houses of worship have begun to reopen with safety guidelines in place. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, remains closed for in-person worship. Local congregations, or wards, of The Church, eagerly await direction from local Church authorities on even tighter safety precautions required to reopen their doors. Members of these wards are particularly ready to join each other in worship because they partake in the sacrament each Sunday and listen to talks prepared by other members- not paid clergy. This makes for internet-based meetings impossible and discouraged by Church leadership. Some members have been able to partake in the sacrament at home, while others rely on special deliveries by other members each week. 

One member, Charlotte Alan, recently moved out of the area but doesn’t mind the 40-minute drive back to Boulder each Sunday. With the in-person services suspended, however, Sundays have looked a lot different. “It can be really difficult to focus my attention on feeling the Spirit and remembering the sacrifices Christ has made for me when I am taking the bread and water in the mailroom of an apartment complex next to a vending machine. However, I am so grateful for these sacrament deliveries because they are crucial to my faith. My ward is small- only about 50 regular members, so I hope we get the green light to return to the church building soon”. 

Though church services haven’t gone online for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, some members in the area got together to create a 12 part series named “Hear Him” in which they talk about their faith and share ways they can hear Christ and understand the gospel in more depth. They have also hosted numerous “member challenges”, the most recent is an action a day to become more kind. The Hear Him video series and Kindness Challenge can be found on their Facebook page “Church of Jesus Christ Boulder”.

#HearHim Alan

How do you #HearHim?

Posted by Church of Jesus Christ Boulder on Sunday, May 17, 2020

Of the many impacts that coronavirus has had on our community, the nationwide shortfall at food banks may be one of the most devastating. Over 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the last six weeks. The exponential increase in demand for food is unfortunately met by a drop in donations. Some of the major sources of food donations – hotels and restaurants – are shut down, while another source – grocery stores – have been picked clean by anxious customers. There is, of course, the good will of the community, and that is exactly what came to the rescue this week. Despite the dire situation of many Americans, the Denver Area was boosted by goodwill in a food drive held last weekend.

As the First Presidency reminded its membership in church-wide communication April 14, 2020, “We are to be “anxiously engaged” in relieving suffering and helping those in need.” They further stated, “We invite our members to participate in… relief projects in their areas and communities as opportunities arise and as local government directives and personal circumstances allow.” Denver Area residents responded to the First Presidency’s message and the needs of local food banks with rousing success. 

Starting Saturday, April 25 and ending Saturday, May 2, 13 stakes helped restock food and pantry essentials for over 20 area food banks. With just over a week’s notice, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped refill empty shelves with food, paper goods, and even masks. Over a hundred thousand pounds of food were donated, and tens of thousands of dollars came in as well. Each stake was able to supplement the needs of one or several of their local food banks. The Parker Task Force, recipients of Parker and Parker South Stake’s efforts, reported that their total donations more than made up for the two food drives they’ve had to cancel (scheduled for April and June). Boulder Stake’s donations calculated enough to feed 30 families for a month.

As the idea was born, Katie Moon, JustServe Director for the Denver North Area, recalls feeling hopeful, but unsure about the expected response. Given the size of the task and the timeline in which she and her team hoped to meet their goals, there was no telling what result to expect. Nobody knew that they were about to pull off a miracle. The outcome was, “…nothing short of amazing. I was overwhelmed by the amount of generosity I was seeing.” For hours, the lines of cars filled with people donating kept coming. Across the Denver Metro area, rented U-Hauls, pick-up trucks, trailers, and moving vans were filled to capacity. The former scare of not being able to fill personal needs was set aside, and the needs of others took priority.

That exact re-prioritizing of needs brings a silver lining to trials. And it’s one of the ways that communities can come together. Last weekend’s food drive was no exception. Many stakes partnered with other local churches, doubling results and building relationships along the way. When he arrived to donate, Father Michael, of St. Matthews Episcopal Church, thanked the organizers for inviting him and his congregation. His sentiments mirrored those of the rest who were able to help. Moon reports, “Many people thanked us for giving them a way to help others.” Some went one step further. When they took inventory of what else was needed at their initial drop-off, they went back to the store, bought specific food items, and returned with a second load of donations.

Those were not the only steps given in service. Physical donations were supplemented with monetary donations. In Littleton Stake, volunteers were able to do the shopping for those who who couldn’t get out of their homes. This helped fill the specific item requests from their recipients, St. Mary Parish Pantry and Nourish Meals on Wheels.

Volunteers filled Costco flatbeds with food, all bought with the thousands of dollars of donations. Though household budgets are stretched tight, members of The Church of Jesus Christ dug a little deeper and donated even more. Estimated reports show at least $20K in monetary donations were raised last weekend alone. This helped address both the needs of the hungry, and the need of those who are high-risk to remain isolated. Sarah Hill, JustServe Director for Denver South Area said, “The creativity people showed in being able to do such a project in such unusual circumstances was very exciting.”

Of the generosity, Hill further said, “It was heartwarming and impressive to see so many people help. It’s a tough time for everybody, but being able to serve others is at the core of everyone’s well-being.”

While healthcare workers help those afflicted with coronavirus to breathe, Denver residents have helped in their own way. Food bank directors, and their recipients, may all be breathing a little easier themselves, as shelves are re-stocked, pantries filled, and food for the hungry has been re-supplied. The impacts of a pandemic are far-reaching. But in Denver, so is the service and brotherly love that comes with it.

Food Bank Recipients 

  1. Aurora Interfaith Community Services
  2. Bennett Community Food Bank
  3. Broomfield Fish
  4. CARES Food Bank of Strasberg
  5. Community Food Share
  6. Covenant Cupboard
  7. Erie Food Bank
  8. Growing Home
  9. Harvest Food Bank
  10. Health and Hope Center
  11. Hope Starts Here Food Bank
  12. Integrated Family Community Services
  13. Jewish Family Services
  14. Lutheran Family Services, Food Bank for Refugees
  15. Montbello Organizing Committee
  16. Northglenn Christian Food Bank
  17. Nourish Meals on Wheels
  18. Open Arms Food Bank
  19. Parker Task Force
  20. Ruby’s Market
  21. St Mary Parish Pantry
  22. Thornton Community Food Bank
  23. Valley View Cares (SECOR)

Interfaith Partners

  1. Lord of the Hills Lutheran Church
  2. Providence Presbyterian
  3. Beginnings Community Church
  4. Spirit of Hope Lutheran
  5. St. Matthews Episcopal Church
  6. The House Worship Center

Twenty-one local High School Seniors from eight area high schools were able to honor the teachers who had the greatest impact on their lives at a Teacher Appreciation Ceremony held Tuesday, March 3 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building on Lowell Boulevard in Broomfield.

Westminster Stake Senior Wyatt Eames and his parents along with his basketball coach Bryce Babcock and Mrs. Babcock

The Seniors, who all belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were able to share tributes to the teachers they nominated and presented them with special certificates. The teachers taught a wide variety of subjects: calculus, physics, chemistry, literature, statistics, English, orchestra, music theory and more.

There were also various coaches and music teachers. Many principals also attended to support and honor the nominated teachers and their students. The tributes the students read were touching and left no doubt in anyone’s mind how hard these educators work to teach and mentor.

Sophie Hendrix said that Mr. James Hinkle, her middle school Spanish teacher, taught her that no one is too small to change the world for the better. Izabella Luna said, “She makes the whole world feel like home,” when speaking of her teacher, Ms. Kathy Zook.

Chase Esplin felt like his baseball team was a family thanks to his coach Mr. Ty Giordano. Amelia Curtis learned many life lessons in addition to how to play the piano from her piano teacher Ms. Yvette Mitchell.

One teacher helped a student through the tragic death of a friend. Another teacher continued to be an excellent teacher and mentor despite being diagnosed with cancer.

Several teachers inspired their students to pursue teaching as an occupation in the future. All of the teachers and coaches touched their students’ lives by listening to them and caring for them. The teachers were great at passing down academic knowledge but even better at letting kids know their worth.

The night ended with light refreshments and a chance for students and teachers to visit with each other. Those who attended the event were uplifted and given hope for the future. Our community is full of great teachers and great students.


Left to right: Sister Packard, Elder Cruz, Elder Woollesen, Sister Van Tassell, Sister Reatre, Elder Hasse, Elder Blackham, Sister Draney

Elder Blackham knew it would be a sacrifice to give up his guitar and music while on his mission, but inspiration he felt in the Denver Temple gave him peace, “Give it to me and I can make it so much more.” With the help of other inspired elders and sisters, Elder Blackham was able to lend his talents to what became a beautiful musical presentation, “Meet the Missionaries.”

Presented by the Colorado Denver North Mission, “Meet the Missionaries” toured the northern front range giving 14 performances between February and April. The program is a fun, energetic, and inspiring performance. Through fifteen songs intermixed with video, four elders and four sisters shared their musical talents, their love of the Savior, and what it means to be a missionary.

President and Sister Savage both served as missionaries in Denver in the early 1980s and had the idea to renew a similar musical program that was a success on their missions. Around the same time the Book of Mormon musical came to Denver. Elder Blackham and Elder Brown pulled out their guitars and began singing on 16th Street in downtown Denver, replying to curious onlookers that they weren’t in the musical, but were the actual missionaries. From there 11 original songs were written by Elders Blackham, Brown, Fenske, and Hasse. In 2018 “Meet the Elders” went on tour.

(more…)

Members of the Boulder Stake and the Bishop’s Storehouse donated nearly 1,500 pounds of food and toiletries to the Emergency Family Assistance Association. The EFAA serves the Boulder community in need of basic food and housing and they were thrilled to have a large January donation following the holidays. Individuals in the Boulder Stake collected the donations as part of their #LightTheWorld effort.


Jessica Carney of Arvada felt inspired to do a Christ-centered flash mob during this year’s Christmas season. She invited people from various Christian faiths and held a single rehearsal the night before.

“I want to light the mall with the true spirit of Christmas” said Jessica in the week leading up to the event. She chose the busiest day of the Christmas season and organized the event with the Flatirons mall in Broomfield Colorado.

On December 22nd at 2pm a 4 person mini orchestra began playing “Angels We Have Heard on High” for some surprised shoppers outside of the Nordstrom store in the mall. Soon a small number of voices joined in and before it was over more than 100 voices and instruments were heard singing the message of Christmas. The group included 25 to 30 missionaries and President Savage of the Denver North Mission was present to view the event.

Here is a video recording of the event:

Thank you to all who find their own way to Light the World this Christmas season!


Colorado Gives

 

For all who have volunteered time, talent or energy to others in need, it’s easy to understand the feeling of wanting to do more. You might wish for deeper pockets or unlimited resources to make your giving more significant. Today is the day where a bit of that wish comes true. December 4 is Colorado Gives Day, which means that as each of us goes online to give, our donations have potential to be magnified by the $1 Million Incentive Fund. You can help through ColoradoGives.org, a year-round, online giving website featuring more than 2,300 nonprofits. Last year brought in $36 million in a 24-hour period.

Wondering where to start? Below are a few JustServe partners who stand in extra need and would benefit from a boost on this day of giving.

 

 

Volunteers of America

The Volunteers of America provides a variety of year-round support to those in need. Areas that need the most right now include serving meals at a daytime shelter and helping with yard clean up for senior citizens. They also have several volunteer from home ideas that include writing letters to veterans, decorating bags for meals on wheels, or even putting together a craft kit for low income preschool students.

Catholic Charities

In like manner, Catholic Charities offer a variety of services and can use volunteers to help pull together. Current opportunities include helping at a women’s shelter, either serving dinner, decorating cookies, or hosting a movie night. You can also host a Christmas party for residents of Catholic Charities housing, or adopt a family for Christmas.

 

Lutheran Family Services

Lutheran Family Services (LFS) is the largest refugee resettlement agency in the Rocky Mountain region. Every year LFS responds to needs of 30,000 people. One simple but constant need is for diaper donations. Clients often have large families and always need diapers. You can also help with creating baby baskets for refugee families who are either expecting or have just had a new baby.

In this season of giving, and as we Light the World, we hope you will consider joining in this day as Colorado Gives.