(Contest Nominee) MOUNT SAINT VINCENT Working to Revolutionize the Treatment of Kids Impacted by Abuse, Neglect, Trauma & Mental Illness

MOUNT SAINT VINCENT is one of seven local charities nominated in Citywide Banks’ Charity Hand-Up Contest taking place June 1-14, 2013. The Denver/Boulder community is invited to vote for a nominee and enter prize drawings. The charity receiving the most contest votes will receive a $5,000 donation, while the other nominees will split $2,500 in donations based on the voting results.

“The history of Mount Saint Vincent is a great Colorado history story,” remarked Kay Kelleher Mcdowell, director of development for Mount Saint Vincent. “Legend has it that several weeks before the orphanage was scheduled to open, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth heard frantic knocking on the door. A young mother said she desperately needed the Sisters to take her children because she could no longer care for them. The sisters agreed, and the legacy of Mount Saint Vincent began.”

The organization operated as an orphanage until 1969, when it transitioned to become a residential treatment center for children ages 5 to 13 suffering from trauma, sexual abuse, severe neglect, or mental illness.

“The children that end up at Mount Saint Vincent have, on average, 15 failed [foster home] placements by the time they’re nine years old,” explained Mcdowell. “And with each of those failed placements, the child tends to feel more unloved, more unwanted, and more of a failure.”

Mcdowell explains that what they do on a daily basis at Mount Saint Vincent is to help the children “progress socially, behaviorally, and cognitively, ultimately moving to a less restrictive facility.”

“Most of [these children], because of their experiences, have been robbed of a normal childhood. In this safe environment, we let them just be kids. Then we teach them how to regulate their behavior, build relationships, and learn to trust adults again. Our goal is to allow them to return to the community with the tools they need to be successful.”

The children that come through the agency’s doors receive psychological and educational evaluations. They enter either the residential or day treatment program and attend the Sister Daniel Stefani K–8 School.

The residential program is for children so severely impacted by neglect, abuse, or trauma that around-the-clock care is required. All children receive individual therapy, family therapy, and group therapy in accordance with their therapeutic needs.

Mount Saint Vincent also has the only primary therapeutic program in Colorado for children ages 3 to 8, as well as a neighborhood early learning center available to anyone in the community who wants a four-star Qualistar-rated child care facility for their child.

Mcdowell says that what makes Mount Saint Vincent unique is that it is “completely child centered.” “Everything we do places the child at the center,” she says. “We’re here to protect these children … it’s our responsibility to make sure that they receive the best therapeutic treatment available while they’re on our watch.”

The staff at the nonprofit stays on top of the latest scientific studies and research therapies and uses the most advanced therapeutic techniques, as well as alternative therapies such as art, animal-assisted, and dance/movement to help these long-abused and traumatized children.

Although it is partially government funded, Mount Saint Vincent experiences a financial shortfall of $70, per child, per day. “In the climate of this country, mental illness is in a very precarious position, especially with these children. So funding is always a primary need.”

In addition to financial donations, the agency is in need of volunteers to care for their 16-acre campus, as well as other programs. And, since they’re a residential center and a school, they are always looking for in-kind donations such as markers, toothpaste, clothing and nightlights. The full wish list can be found on their website.

A $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks would go toward the purchase of i-Ready, a web based school program. “It’s wonderful for our kids with individual education plans because as they work, the computer analyzes the students’ work, provides an assessment, and keeps track of the children’s progress,” explained Mcdowell.

For more information on ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.MSVhome.org.

Vote to Give Mt. Saint Vincent a $5,000 Hand-Up
As a Colorado owned bank focused entirely on the Front Range, Citywide Banks shares a commitment to our local community with Mount Saint Vincent. Through our Charity Hand-Up Contest, we are proud to spotlight the great work and ongoing needs of Denver/Boulder nonprofits. Based on the results of a 14-day vote, the local 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 great prizes, including dinner for two at some of Denver’s top restaurants. Official prize drawing rules are available by clicking here. Full contest details are at www.CitywideBanks.com/charity/.

How to Cast Your Vote – June 1 -14, 2013
The contest is open to the general public within the Denver/Boulder community (non-customers welcome to participate; no purchase necessary). The easiest way to vote is online by clicking the “Charity Contest” tab on the Citywide Banks Facebook page at  www.Facebook.com/citywidebanks.  Users will need to “like” the bank’s Facebook page to cast a vote/entry online. Supporters may alternatively participate by casting a vote/entry in-person at one of Citywide Banks 12 Denver/Boulder branches. Just stop by any branch during regular business hours and complete an official contest ballot. As a reminder, supporters cannot vote through both online and branch methods. One vote/entry is permitted during the 14-day contest. After voting on Facebook, users may use sharing buttons to easily invite their Facebook friends to vote for their favorite charity.

Spread the Word about Voting for Mt. Saint Vincent
Tell your coworkers, friends, and family in Colorado to cast their vote for your favorite nonprofit. Use the sharing buttons above this article, on the Facebook voting page, or throughout Citywide Banks’ social media pages to help spread the word.

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