Readers Say Thanks |

Readers Say Thanks

Buddy Program hosts Mentor & Mingle event

It’s been a really good year. No, really. I started working for the Buddy Program one year ago this month, and I’m so incredibly proud of what we accomplished in 2017. I’m most proud that we matched more than 30 local adults to serve as Big Buddy mentors to youth in Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale. That means 30 new lives will be changed forever. Thirty more kids have their own Yoda, their own Professor Dumbledore, their own Mary Poppins. You catch my drift.

January is National Mentoring Month, and we’re already celebrating: Please join us for a Mentor & Mingle event from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, at Maker & Place (614 E. Cooper Ave., next to Mezzaluna) in Aspen. You can meet current Big Buddies and hear their stories, and talk to Buddy Program staff about how to become a Big Buddy yourself. There will be complimentary refreshments served, so grab a friend and meet us there. And to celebrate the organization’s 45th anniversary, we would like to include any former Big Buddy to stop by and share their mentoring memories — help us celebrate.

You can be someone’s hero this year. You don’t have to be a Yoda or a Mary Poppins, you just have to be you.

With gratitude to all the mentors out there,

Laura Seay

recruitment manager, The Buddy Program

Operation Christmas Child collects more than 2,800 shoebox gifts

I am writing to thank Roaring Fork Valley residents for spreading joy to children around the world this Christmas. Through the generosity of our community, the Rocky Mountain Area Team was able to exceed its goal by collecting over 2,800 shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind. Over 1,150 of those gifts came from the Roaring Fork Valley.

Volunteers transformed empty shoeboxes into treasured gifts filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys to be delivered to children around the world affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. These children, many of whom have never received a gift before, learn God loves them and has not forgotten them. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

Special thanks go out to Kurt and Marla Korn of White House Pizza for generously donating pizza for a Packing Party fundraising lunch at The Orchard; The Property Shop for once again lending us their reliable truck to transport our shoeboxes to Edwards; the dental office of Corey Johnson DDS for providing toothbrushes and dental floss; and to the many community groups, churches, schools and individuals who participated this year.

It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Shoeboxes can still be packed and sent year-round to Samaritan’s Purse headquarters at 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607. Additionally, anyone can conveniently pack a personalized Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift at Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found on the website or by calling 303-745-9179.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this project and for those who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message of hope and continue to transform the lives of children worldwide.


Roz Fowler

coordinator Operation Christmas Child Rocky Mountain Region Area

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