Since Thanksgiving is only *gasp* 18 days away (we won’t even scare you with the reality of how close Christmas is) there is still time to set your intentions on the giving aspect of the season. While the holidays are wrapped with a long, shiny list of problematic purposes for celebration, instead focus on how you can help your fellow humans.
Giving of Funds
While we can all admit that Denver is an expensive place to live, some folks are fortunate enough to rake in some top dollars. Whether you’re a trust fund baby, a badass workhorse in corporate, or you’re getting a little extra from that commissioned art piece, if you have the dollars, consider donating some of them!
A great way to find a nonprofit organization that fits your budget and your values is to peruse the Colorado Gives Day website. With the annual, balls-to-the-wall fundraising day coming up on December 10, it’s never too early to pick out who you want to slide those Benjamins to!
There are also a long list of local and national LGBTQ and queer organizations that are doing amazing work year-round that can certainly use your donations! From youth-focused to elder support, holiday gifting is truly a gift that keeps on giving.
Giving of Food and Clothing
While this is most certainly not a comprehensive list, here are a few ways that community is gathering to give back:
Order your Thanksgiving pies from Project Angel Heart and help provide medically tailored meals for neighbors in need. Every fresh-baked pie ordered allows the group to prepare and deliver more than three meals, free of charge, for a Coloradan living with life-threatening illness.
Give that extra coat to someone in need and catch a concert at the same time! At the second annual Too Many Humans, Not Enough Coats event on Thursday, December 12, Denver bands are hosting a benefit show at Globe Hall. You get free admission with the donation of a new or gently used winter coat which will then be donated to Denver Rescue Mission.
Canned food is like clothing; if you haven’t worn it for a month, then it’s time to give it away! Ok, that may be a bit extreme; however, it’s still a good practice to keep things rotating. There’s no better way to lighten the load in those cabinets than to collect the non-perishables and donate them to a food pantry! FoodPantries.org is a great resource to check out what locations are closest to you that are happy to take that extra food off your hands.
Giving of Time
This month, if resources are tight, donate some of your time by volunteering for a worthwhile cause. Once again, these few options don’t even breach the surface of the number of organizations that could use some extra human-power. Nonetheless, one of these may strike your fancy.
Since 1968, The Action Center has been providing immediate response to folks in the community experiencing hardship. There are more than 40 unique volunteer opportunities that include direct participant interaction, behind-the-scenes tasks, and special events. Whether it’s a one-time-only or a weekly gig, come by yourself, bring your partner, or get the whole fam involved and do something for someone else.
Same Café is the first nonprofit restaurant in Denver and was formed out of the dream of founders Brad and Libby Birky to feed everyone, regardless of ability to pay. They are offering two dates to volunteer during November and December with a time commitment of only one hour. Volunteers will get hands-on experience learning about the cafe, its mission, and who it serves. After your shift, volunteers are welcome to stay and enjoy a free lunch.
Celebrate the Community
ECDC African Community Center is hosting their 14th Annual Refugee-First Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner. Help welcome Denver’s newest community members by sharing an evening of food, friendship, and dancing. Hosted at Mango House in Aurora, celebrate diversity with both traditional Thanksgiving food and globally inspired dishes. There’s a $15 suggested donation.
Many of us queer folks prefer to gather with “family” during these months as not only a sign of support and solidarity, but to truly celebrate who we are with the people who accept and appreciate us. Grab your fab five, plus some, and get your potluck and crafting on! Bring in fun traditions and make some of your own, because the season truly is all about being with the ones you love.