National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is held each year the week before Thanksgiving on November 14-22. This is a time for us all to think about what we are thankful for, to share our compassion and help those experiencing homelessness. As we think about how we can help those who are in need of the most basic needs of life, we want to share how members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Loveland and Fort Collins teamed up with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Denver-Larimer County Region to collect much-needed donations for a statewide day of service called Colorado Cares day.
Over the last two years LDS congregations and Catholic Charities have worked closely together in a team effort to provide record amounts of donations. Working jointly with Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of Denver, they gathered 225 boxes of items, which were taken to the Catholic Charities’ facility in Fort Collins. Catholic Charities operations manager Tim Dolan said,
“We really appreciate the donations we received today. We got the kinds of things we really needed. The joint effort with the LDS Church was a real blessing.”
In 2014 alone, 3,044 pounds of food and paper goods were contributed to the House of Neighborly Service, a pantry that serves the area. It was the second largest food drive the facility had ever experienced.
Participation for the service event has been outstanding. In 2014, 21 projects were completed in which 812 volunteers of all ages took part, rendering 1,750 hours of service in one day!
Members from both faiths have been strengthened within the communities of Loveland, Fort Collins and Berthoud through this combined service to the community. The public has gained a better understanding of the importance of Christlike love and service, and it has raised awareness for the need to help those in less fortunate circumstances.
To find ways you can help the homeless this month and ongoing – here are a few links to resources looking for donations or volunteers to help.
Serve.CCDenver.org : Volunteer site for Catholic Charities
www.denverrescuemission.org : Denver Rescue Mission is the oldest, full-service Christian charity in the Rocky Mountain region.
www.attentionhomes.org : Attention Homes is a safe resource for homeless and displaced youth.
www.JustServe.org: JustServe matches faith, nonprofit, community and governmental organizations that need volunteers with volunteers willing to help.