GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Area businesses are stepping up with initiatives to help LIFT-UP assist local families in need during the holidays. Vitamin Cottage in Glenwood Meadows is running a campaign through the end of the year for customers to buy bags pre-filled with non-perishable food, or fill a bag with their own selections. Store manager Mary Loughlin said, "This is our third year doing this during the holidays. We used to put out a collection box, but last year we started doing the bags and the customers are really responsive. The effort is managed by one of our staff, Brenna Ryan, and is handled entirely by our employees. They love doing it."Whole Foods Market in Basalt is offering a similar program, called Grab & Give, through Nov. 30.For the second year in a row, Roaring Fork Liquors is donating its entire net profit from sales on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Owner Ken Robinson said, "It was a great success last year, and it's a good time of year to help folks in need. I urge other local businesses to do something for LIFT-UP during the holidays, to give back to the community."Scott Black, owner of two Subway restaurants in Glenwood Springs, took Robinson up on his suggestion. Black is donating $1 for each six-inch sub and $2 for each 12-inch sub sold on Black Friday at Subway's Sixth Street and Roaring Fork Marketplace locations. "Ken told me what he was doing, and I was glad to help out, too," Black said.Alpine Bank selected LIFT-UP as a participant in its fall nonprofit Facebook challenge, which ended Nov. 16. Each vote was worth $1 to the designated non-profit, with a $500 bonus being awarded to the charity with the most votes. The funding comes from Alpine Bank's affinity credit cards, where customers designate a percentage of each purchase for a particular category of funding, in this case, community assistance.Mike Powell, LIFT-UP executive director said, "This support from local businesses is greatly appreciated, and it comes at our busiest time of year." In addition to serving an average of more than 1,800 people per month at the food pantries (last month more than 2,500 people received assistance), and serving over 1,200 meals each month at the two soup kitchens, LIFT-UP also provides holiday meal boxes for families in need for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. "This is what LIFT-UP is all about," said Powell, "we provide a way for the community to show their concern for their struggling neighbors, not just during the holidays but throughout the entire year."This year marks the 30th anniversary for LIFT-UP, and Powell credits the generosity of the community for the effectiveness of the organization over the past three decades. "We may be the channel of distribution, but it's the community that really makes LIFT-UP work - the volunteers, the donors, the grantors, and everyone who contributes food to help families in need. It's an amazing community effort," said Powell.
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