(Contest Nominee) CENTRO SAN JUAN DIEGO Helping to Empower Denver’s Growing Hispanic Community

Seven Colorado charities have been nominated in Citywide Banks’ Charity Hand-Up Contest taking place on Facebook from March 17-31, 2014. The local community is invited to vote for a nominee and enter prize drawings. $7,500 in cash donations will be split between nominees based on the voting results. CLICK HERE for voting page

During 2003, in response to a growing influx of Hispanic immigrants, the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver met with parish and community leaders to evaluate the needs of this group. The exercise identified a great opportunity for the Church and the community to better support this group from an education and spiritual perspective. As a result, the Archbishop of Denver created Centro San Juan Diego (CSJD), also known as the Hispanic Institute for Family and Pastoral Care, to serve the Hispanic community through Catholic faith-based programs that provide tools to Hispanic immigrant families to better integrate and thrive in the Denver community.

“We identified a community that we need to serve so we created a centrally located facility to welcome them, where they can talk about their needs and how the Church might respond to them,” explained Jennie Marquez, Operations Director for CSJD.

Marquez explains that their mission is twofold and that their programs and services reflect that. On the one hand, they offer family ministry, youth and young adult ministry, family ministry, charismatic renewal movement and a pastoral institute that offers an online bachelor’s program in religious studies as one of its many programs.

The other component called Bienestar Family Services, which is available to anyone regardless of his or her faith or nationality, offers a variety of adult education and support classes and programs. Most of the programs, which include ESL, GED prep, Computer Training Classes, Citizen Preparation Classes, Small Business Training, Legal Advice, Tax Help, Home Buying Workshops, and a Latino Senior Health Fair are designed to successfully integrate Hispanic immigrants into the community.

Over the years their programs have grown, from serving about 1,000 people in 2003 to over 30,000 last year. “As the years pass, we try to identify, understand and meet those changes to continually offer culturally relevant, up-to-date technology and information resources to our community,” says Marquez.

Their doors are open from 8 am to 9 pm Monday through Friday and until 5pm on Saturday. They’re closed on Sunday. “We understand the needs of the community, where some of them are working two or three jobs and we want to be available to them, or they won’t come. We want to eliminate any excuses they might have for not seeking the services they need,” explains Marquez.

As a result of their long hours and number of services and programs, they are always in need of volunteers to help out in a number of ways. Teaching classes, helping with special events, or general office or organizational help such as marketing, grant writing and finance are just some of the ways volunteers can assist. And volunteers are not restricted to only those that speak Spanish.

The community can also help financially through sponsoring an event, year-end giving or becoming a Centro Amigo and donating monthly to the organization.

The organization holds two major fundraisers a year, one in May called Las Madrinas Tribute, which raises funds specifically for the non-religious programs of their Bienestar program; and the Centro San Juan Diego Gala in October at the Grand Hyatt that helps support CSJD’s overall mission.

Marquez says that their mission is so unique that it often confuses people. Because they provide services in both the areas of faith and adult education, people think they’re either a church or a social services organization. But because of its uniqueness it was cited in a field study held by the Center for Migration Studies in New York as a “model for how the Church can develop programs that allow immigrants to build their human and social capital, strengthen their faith and participate fully in the life of the Church.”

A $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks would go toward supporting the services of the organization’s Bienestar Family Services program. For more information on ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.CentroSanJuanDiego.org.


Vote to Give CSJD a $5,000 Hand-Up
As a family owned bank focused entirely on the Front Range, Citywide Banks shares a commitment to our local community with Centro San Juan Diego. Through our Charity Hand-Up Contest, we are proud to spotlight the great work and ongoing needs of Colorado nonprofits. The local community is invited to cast a vote on Facebook for one of seven nominated Colorado causes. Based on the 15-day vote, Citywide Banks will divide $7,500 in cash contributions among the seven charities nominated by bank employees. The charity with the most votes will receive the top $5,000 donation. Contest voters can also enter to win great prizes, including dinner for two at a top Denver restaurant. Official prize drawing rules are available by clicking here. Full contest details are at www.CitywideBanks.com/charity/.

How to Cast Your Vote – March 17-31, 2014
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. One vote/entry is permitted during the 15-day contest. After voting on Facebook, users can use the sharing buttons to easily invite their Facebook friends to vote for their favorite charity. There is even an added bonus prize drawing for those voters that post the contest on their own Facebook timeline.

Spread the Word about CSJD
Tell your coworkers, friends, and family in Colorado to cast their vote on Facebook. 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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