We’re at it again! Right on the heels of #ChiCon, we are packing our bags full of love and swag and staying on the convention circuit. From November 6-8, Random Acts will be in attendance at Creation Entertainment’s Official Supernatural Convention in Denver, Colorado. We’re hoping to see many of you as the convention makes its first stop in the Mile High City!
As is customary, we’ve partnered with a local nonprofit in order to collect needed donations, and with winter approaching Colorado, our thoughts are especially with those who lack shelter and warmth due to homelessness or poverty.
To better understand homelessness in Denver, the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative conducts an annual Point-in-Time survey (in conjunction with local service providers, including our partner nonprofit), to generate an estimate of the number of individuals who are experiencing homelessness in the seven county metro area. On January 26, 2015, they counted 6,130 individuals experiencing homelessness as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Of those counted, 37% were women, 25% were newly homeless, and 49% of “households” were families with children.
What is The Gathering Place?
Founded in 1986 by two University of Denver School of Social Work graduate students, Toni Schmid and Kathy Carfrae, while they were both interning at various homeless shelters in the Denver area. Each morning, they watched as the homeless women and children had to leave the safety of a shelter and return to the harsh realities of the streets. Through their observations, Schmid and Carfrae came to believe that women and children needed a safe place to go during the day.
Fast-forward to today, and The Gathering Place (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit) is Denver’s only daytime drop-in center for women, children, and transgender individuals who are experiencing poverty or homelessness. The Gathering Place provides a community of safety and hope where positive relationships, choice, and essential resources transform lives.
Serving about 9,000 individuals per year, about half of those assisted consider themselves to be homeless. The other half are housed, but living in poverty and in need of assistance to make ends meet. To help you better understand the community impact of what they do, in 2014, The Gathering Place:
- Recorded 59,527 visits by adults and 6,509 visits by children.
- Provided 70,571 nutritious meals.
- Distributed 2,152 toiletry and hygiene bags.
- Distributed 15,700 diapers.
- Distributed 54,818 pounds of food.
- Tutored 93 different GED students.
- Received volunteer time that equated to more than 9.5 full-time staff positions.
How you can help
- Kids’ and women’s hats and gloves
- Non-perishable, unexpired food, including:
- Canned food
- Peanut butter
- Brown rice
- Granola bars
- Spaghetti sauce
- Whole wheat pasta
- New personal supplies, including:
- Denture care – Polygrip/Efferdent
- Lip balm
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss
- New baby items, including:
- Baby powder, lotion, shampoo, and bath wash
- Baby wipes
- Children’s vitamins
- Sippy cups
- Unexpired baby food
- Unopened packages of diapers (sizes 4, 5, 6 and Pull-Ups)
Monetary donations are always appreciated as well if you’re unable to pack items in your suitcase. There are also nearby King Soopers grocery stores and a Walmart within driving distance of the convention hotel if you have access to a car. Click here for the full list of items and a map to the local stores.
What If I can’t bring a donation?
That’s okay too! We hope that everyone will stop by to visit us and we will have a few activities running throughout the convention weekend to help each of you get involved!
Not going to make it to Denver?
We will miss you! But you can certainly help from wherever you are by performing acts of kindness within your community, donating on the Random Acts website, or even taking the time to donate directly to The Gathering Place if you are able. Also, our #GetKind theme for November will be all about thanking veterans and active military for their service to your country. Watch for our upcoming blog post for some ideas! (We’ll also link it here when it’s ready.)
We hope to see you in Denver!