Love Your Hood had the privilege and honor of being chosen as a sponsor for Denver Rescue Mission’s Adopt-A-Family program. We are always looking for ways to love our community and neighbors, and this was a tangible way we were able to do just that this holiday season.
What is Adopt-A-Family?
Denver Rescue Mission’s Adopt-A-Family program allows trusted members of the community (like teachers, counselors, etc.) to nominate families in need to have Christmas brought directly to their door. Each family can only be nominated one time. DRM will then match these families to sponsors standing by, ready to purchase, wrap, and deliver the gifts to them. This year, the Mission had more sponsors than families, which is a great problem to have!
Love Your Hood is about more than just real estate. To us, it’s a way of life. We are always looking for ways to participate in others’ stories, and this was one way we were able to love our neighbors by giving back to a hard working family who is down on their luck.
What kinds of things did the family ask for?
When we received the family’s list, it was all needs. Think: winter coat, shoes, toiletries, pants, and shirts. No wants or toys that are typically asked for on Christmas.
What did LYH do for them?
Love Your Hood and each person on the team gave money and resources to make sure that this family’s wildest Christmas dreams came true. We fulfilled everything on their list and then some! The only thing better than giving, is getting to do it together! We had a blast on our team shopping night to round up gifts.
Then we threw a wrapping party to put our Elf-like gift wrapping skills to good use.
One of the best parts about the program is getting to meet the family to deliver the gifts. We wish our adopt-a-family and you all a joyful holiday and new year!
Five Points, Denver
We couldn’t call ourselves Love Your Hood if we didn’t actually love our hood. And doing that well calls us to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty. “Litter”-ally.
What’s the big deal about alleys?
In other parts of the world, alleys weren’t originally created for garages and garbage. They started out as public spaces. Many historic alleys even contained stores, restaurants, bars, and parks.
Needless to say, most of the alleys in Denver don’t currently have this high of a calling. They’re typically sources of frustration for residents in dealing with things from strewn trash and graffiti, to drug dealing and other non-welcome behavior. Keep up with the beat on neighborhood Facebook groups like Curtis Park Neighbors or Old San Rafael Neighborhood Organization and you’ll get a glimpse of the trouble with alleys.
Why do you all clean them?
Love Your Hood is all about connecting people to place and ultimately people to people. Helping to reclaim spaces in our neighborhoods that can be used to bring the community together, or at least not be a source of frustration, is a huge win. Quite frankly, cleaning up our alleys is the first step to creating spaces that people actually want to be in. (And typically places full of trash, just aren’t one of them… unless you’re a toddler living at our house — then you just might.)
Can’t you all do something bigger to help the neighborhood?
I suppose that depends on the definition of “bigger.” A few of the reasons why we do what we do:
- We believe in starting where you are… using what you have, and doing what you can.
- We’re okay getting our hands dirty. There are some insanely fun and glamorous ways to raise money for a good cause. We applaud them (and want to join in)! Cleaning alleys… never gonna be glam. And it’s okay, it’s just a job that needs to be done.
- We want to make it easy to involve other people. Our team is in all different seasons of life. Mark and I found that volunteering became difficult after having kids, especially little ones. It wasn’t just not wanting to have to find a babysitter to volunteer, but also involving our kids so they could learn to serve other #startemyoung! We truly wanted a way to serve the community that would allow anyone to participate and invite others to join.
What alleys do you clean?
Where we work (and where some of our team lives!) is in the Five Points neighborhood, just north of downtown Denver. So, we start where we are. Until we can conquer the alleys of Five Points, this is where we will stay.
How can I get involved?
Wanna meet our swell faces and roll up your sleeves besides us? Send us your info and we’ll keep you in the loop about upcoming volunteer events.