Denver, Colorado, United States | NAD
Douglas County in Denver, Colorado, has the highest cost of living anywhere in the state, where poverty is sometimes hidden but growing. Many have faced financial strain for years and it became especially hard during this pandemic. In order to make a difference, Parker Adventist Hospital collaborated with Newday Seventh-day Adventist Church to open a Christmas store to provide Christmas gifts at no cost to families in need. In fact, since 2011 the church and hospital have worked together with social workers from local public schools to identify families that don’t qualify for other types of aid but will have a hard time putting presents under the tree. The store is almost entirely volunteer-driven. Volunteers ensure ahead of time that there are gifts available to appeal to all ages, from infants to grandparents. Options include a wide range of items from sports gear to clothing, personal care products to appliances. Once the gifts are selected, they are custom wrapped by a volunteer and taken to people’s homes. “We host the store every year because we’re here for our community, and that goes beyond their physical health; it extends to every aspect of their lives,” says Michael Goebel, CEO of Parker Hospital.