Local groups bring holiday cheer to less fortunate
Former Granby Police Chief founded the Joyful Givers program over a decade ago, founded on a Biblical principle: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
And that’s been the philosophy ever since for the program, joining several years ago with another selfless local group, the Grand Angels, to put together a Christmas program to benefit the less fortunate.
The Joyful Givers and Grand Angels Christmas Program has helped deserving families in Grand County give their children a merry Christmas through a gift giving.
This year’s program, which just wrapped, proved to be another successful year.
“My favorite part of the program is the gift pick-up day,” said Katlin Miller, a volunteer with the progam. “It is very rewarding to see the joy on the faces of the recipients.”
Miller said the families they serve are always so grateful of the program and show tremendous gratitude.
“It’s also great to see a room full of presents in the morning and empty in the afternoon knowing that there are going to be a lot of very happy children on Christmas Day that might not have otherwise had presents under the tree,” she added.
Families apply to the program in October and November of each year. The organizations also work with the local schools to hand out applications to deserving families.
This Christmas, thanks to the generous support of many sponsors and volunteers, the Joyful Givers and Grand Angels were able to bring cheer to the faces of 172 children from 72 local families with nearly 600 gifts and $6,000 in monetary donations.
In addition to gifts of clothing, toys and games, the groups also purchased 105 pairs shoes and boots through their partnership with Rack Room Shoes in Castle Rock. Each family also went home with a gift card to either City Market in Granby or Mountain Food Market in Grand Lake.
“Without the support of the community, this program would not have been such a success,” Miller said. “Our gratitude goes out to everyone that sponsored a gift, child or family. Not only did we have many individual sponsors, we also had several business sponsors, as well.”
It truly is a community program, with many local businesses and organizations stepping up to help.
Some of the sponsors this year included Changes Thrift Store, Henderson Mine and Mill and Winter Park Christian Church. Mountain Family Center donated 30 scooters and boxes of toys, Ace Hardware donated wrapping paper, the Winter Park Police Department and the Grand County Sheriff’s Office assisted with gift delivery and Granby Library let the groups use its meeting space for gift wrapping and organizing.
Volunteers then spent a whole day wrapping, organizing and preparing gifts for pick-up and delivery.
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