I am writing this month’s installment early Thanksgiving morning. My editor must be pulling his hair out and writing his own resignation letter as I type. I wouldn’t blame him. I seem always late in submitting my article however, this month I have good reason.
I have been working with several of the lodge officers, volunteers and other agencies in Boulder to organize and launch this year’s Holiday Food Basket outreach campaign. As many of you know, our lodge resurrected this program about four years ago with great success. We have consistently served the needs of 65-75 families and individuals in the Boulder area since reviving this program. These are families and individuals who would not have received any holiday assistance from other programs for a variety of reasons. Families who were served were ineligible to receive even toys for their children because the need in Boulder significantly exceeds the resources to fill them.
This year as Exalted Ruler/President it occurred to me this lodge can and should do more. Here’s an idea I think we can all get behind; this year’s family holiday food basket campaign has a goal of reaching, wait for it……..200 families. Yup. I said, 200 families. Go big, right? This lodge can do it.
At this time I have partnered with both Boulder Housing Partners and Families as Teachers to provide this lodge with over 200 names of eligible recipients who are in need of our help during the holidays. These recipients are all American citizens who have fallen on difficult times. They may be elderly, disabled, physically or emotionally challenged or simply in difficult straights at this time. These people are living in housing managed by the City of Boulder and may have more than just themselves to care for. In many cases, these are entire families holding on by a thread.
In short, just the people our holiday food basket program should be helping.
I am excited. We have the chance to do more. I believe our members, our swim team families and others who support our programs will come forward to help. We have received a grant from the Elks National Foundation of $2000 for this ambitious program. We have also partnered with Trader Joes to distribute this year’s food in reusable shopping bags which they have provided. It is a start. We need $5500 to reach our goal. I am asking each of you to consider adopting at least one family for $25. This provides a meal for up to 5 people. I have even found an easy way for you to donate. We have set up a “Go Fund Me” website which allows you to donate to this program from anywhere with a credit card. This website is completely secure and lets you donate as much or as little as you desire.
The website address is: http://www.gofundme.com/boulderelksholiday
Time is short. This campaign runs until December 13. Please consider donating to help us
achieve this goal. If a cash or check is easier for you to donate, please drop either (or both) by the lodge office during the week.
I am confident we will reach our goal. I am confident this lodge will meet this challenge and that we may likely exceed this amount. If we exceed our goal, I will do more if we raise more. I have a list that extends past 200 families. This lodge can resurrect in a huge way one of our most significant annual outreach programs this year. If you can find a way to donate, please do. This is what Elks do, we care and we share.
Until next month,