Charity Contest Nominee – ‘A Precious Child’ Is Making a Difference for Denver’s Disadvantaged & Displaced Children

Charity ContestCitywide Banks’ next Charity Hand-Up Contest  will take place on the bank’s Facebook page from September 1-14, 2012. A Precious Child is one of seven nominated charities that will be spotlighted leading up to the contest. The Denver/Boulder community is invited to participate and help raise awareness for these seven Colorado causes. The charity receiving the most votes on Facebook will receive a $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks.  Voters can enter to win 1 of 7 prizes.

For most organizations, client growth is a good thing. However, for Denver nonprofit, A Precious Child, its increase in services is both sobering and uplifting. From 2008 through 2011, the organization provided life’s basic essentials to 26,000 disadvantaged and displaced children and their family members, including 12,000 in 2011 alone.  During the first half of 2012, A Precious Child has already impacted 16,000 children with no slowdown in sight.  The growth is a combination of our community’s needs in the face of a slow Colorado economy and the group’s passion to help children in need.

A Precious ChildA Precious Child began in 2008 after founder Carina Martin put into action a simple wish to do something that made a difference in our community.  Just four years later, A Precious Child and its 4600 local volunteers positively impact the lives of disadvantaged and displaced children by providing everything from clothes to backpacks. The nonprofit has built a collaborative network of 169 community agency partners across six counties throughout metro Denver.  The partners include schools, churches, homeless shelters, at-risk youth shelters, safe homes, fire and police departments, food banks, foster care, mental health organizations, social services, and more. The partners refer or work on behalf of pre-qualified, need-based kids to obtain clothing and essentials.

“The depth of issues facing families in poverty requires a collaborative approach for creating solutions,” explained Carina Martin, Executive Director of A Precious Child. “During this time of increased need, the necessity for non-profits and social service agencies to work together becomes even more vital. Providing essentials such as clothing, school supplies, toiletries and shoes to our partner agency’s clients allows them to focus on their core mission.”

The 501(c)(3) organization operates its main resource center in Broomfield, and a smaller facility in Boulder.  The centers provide clients a unique environment where affected kids and their parents can ‘shop’ for clothes, shoes, household items, and other necessities.  “One of our main aims is to compassionately provide life’s most basic essentials in a dignified manner,” commented Martin. “Our facility looks like a retail store with clothes on hangers organized by size.  We even provide each client a ‘personal shopper’ to help them find items, sizes, etc. Of course, the big difference from another store is that everything is completely free.”

A Precious Child primarily works to help those in financial crisis.  However, the group regularly extends its support for families impacted by the burden of a house fire, accident, health emergency, or transitional housing. For example, this past June in the wake of the High Park Fire, local nonprofit Colorado Friendship became overwhelmed with clothing requests by fire evacuees. Through A Precious Child, the nonprofit was able to get more than 150 lbs of immediate clothing for the victims.

The impact of A Precious Child goes beyond providing clothing to keep a child warm. The larger goal is to help a child transcend poverty or a challenging domestic environment to fully realize his or her potential.  That may mean getting the proper school clothes, hygiene products, text books, or school backpack to help a child feel better about themselves and able to focus in school.  It may also mean supporting the child’s unemployed parent with clothes suitable for job interviews.  In a recent study of A Precious Child clients, 90% of parents reported that their children felt better about themselves after the organization’s involvement.  Also, the parent surveys reported that their child had 50% improvements in their school attendance or grades.

“A $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks would really make a difference,” commented Martin. “We would overhaul our in-kind donation receiving center in order to process donations quicker. This would allow us to move more clothing and essentials to the Resource Center faster so we can keep up with demand.”

For more information about A Precious Child’s programs and ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.apreciouschild.org.

Vote to Give A Precious Child a $5,000 Hand-Up
As part of its larger community outreach program, Citywide Banks is spotlighting the great work and ongoing needs of local charities around metro Denver.  Based Charity Hand-Up Conteston the results of a 14-day public vote on Facebook, the community will determine how $7,500 is split among seven Colorado charities nominated by Citywide Banks employees.  The charity receiving the most votes will receive $5,000 and the runner-up will receive $1,000.  The remaining donation amounts will correspond to the voting results for each nominated charity. The voting public can also enter to win 1 of 7 prizes, including dinner for two at some of Denver’s top restaurants. Official prize drawing rules are available by clicking here.

How to Cast Your Vote – September 1-14, 2012
The voting will take place at Facebook.com/citywidebanks.  Users will need to make sure they are logged into their personal Facebook account. If a user doesn’t have an account, it only takes minutes to set up a new Facebook account and it’s free. The online voting form will only be accessible for Citywide Banks Facebook Fans. To become a Fan, simply click on the “Like” button on top of any of the pages on Citywide’s Facebook Fan Page at Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Then, click on the link for the ”Charity Contest” tab to access the online voting page. Each Facebook account will permitted one vote during the 14-day voting period.

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