In an effort to honor 9/11 during this unique year of 2020, six Denver faith communities and neighbors joined together in a day to justLOVE, justGIVE and justSERVE.
The three-fold focus for 9/11 Day of Service helped participants reach beyond their circles to make the world a more loving, giving and hopeful place.
Those wishing to join in the day could show some love to a friend or stranger, donate food at the food drive, or choose a service project from the website justserve.org.
Over 9000 pounds of food were donated, both locally and through Salt Lake City humanitarian services. These items were donated to food pantries throughout the Denver area, including Kingdom Connection, Jewish Family Service, Muslim Colorado Food Relief and Covenant Cupboard.
In addition, people volunteered to distribute food at pantries, building shelves, or writing a card to the elderly, to name a few.
On the National Day of Service, September 11th, members of the church in Parker hosted 2 Food Drives, one at the Main St. building to benefit the Parker Task Force Food Bank, and a 2nd at the Elizabeth Building to benefit both Elizabeth & Kiowa Creek Food Banks.
All went well! As always, the Parker Task Force and the food banks in Elizabeth and Kiowa Creek were so very appreciative of our efforts. Learn more about the Parker Task Force and how you can volunteer at https://www.justserve.org/parkertaskforce_parker
September 11th each year is both Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Rememberance.
According to NationalService.gov:
On this day Americans across the country are called to volunteer in their local communities in tribute to the individuals lost and injured in the attacks, first responders, and the many who have risen in service to defend freedom.
We encourage all to seek out ways to lift and serve others in your local area. Consider using JustServe.org as a resource to find opportunities, including many ideas that are safe and appropriate in a COVID world!
In August we were honored to welcome former Colorado governor and current U.S. Senate candidate John W. Hickenlooper for a tour of the Bishops’ Storehouse in Aurora.
The storehouse has responded to every call for help during the pandemic – including a 100,000-pound donation to Denver food banks in June – and we expect to serve many more Coloradans in need in the months to come.
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”.
A small part of that donation was manifest this Tuesday in Aurora where 3000 Coloradan families received a box of food to feed a family of 4 for a week.
From KUSA – NBC – 9News:
The entire event came together in about two weeks. With donated funds The Salvation Army placed an order for the groceries from Safeway Grocery stores who provided this much needed food at a steep discount.
From May 7th-9th volunteers, including full-time missionaries and members of The Church dressed in the signature yellow “helping hands” shirts helped to pack and prepare the 3000 boxes of food.
At 9am the “gates” were opened on Tuesday May 12th to a line of over 100 waiting vehicles. Each car was directed down one of 6 lanes where volunteers placed a box of food, a gallon of milk, and 1 dozen eggs into the vehicle; no questions asked.
Prior to this event, The Salvation Army had already done much good during this COVID19 pandemic. Thousands of boxes of food had already been distributed by The Salvation Army Intermountain Division but the community’s need isn’t going away.
Support and cash donations from local organizations such as this most recent collaboration with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints help The Salvation Army to continue to do what they do best.
By 2:45pm all 3000 boxes of food had been distributed to those in need.
The distribution event was held at the Town Center at Aurora Mall. The mall graciously provided the greater parts of the parking lots for this event.
The event was attended by many leaders from the various participating organizations including Elder Balli, newly called as an Area Seventy in April 2020.
In addition to the news story on 9News | KUSA above, the event was also generously promoted and covered by Fox31 | KDVR.