‘Tis the season for LIFT-UP | PostIndependent.com

‘Tis the season for LIFT-UP

People of Garfield County have a golden opportunity to help those less fortunate by donating to or volunteering for LIFT-UP. Get in the Christmas spirit by taking an angel off the Angel Tree and bringing back a gift for that specific child or donating food to the food drive.Angel Trees will be set up in as many local high traffic places as possible, with one or two at the Glenwood Springs Mall and in both local Wal-Marts. Many banks in the county will have Angel Trees, as well as companies with large office buildings.Children can be registered at any LIFT-UP office. A volunteer puts the information about each child (age, gender, size, but no names) on angels and hangs them on trees. People can take one or more angels off the tree and purchase gifts for that child. They can return the gift to the tree or take it to the LIFT-UP office in the town where they got the angel.Anyone can sign up to receive Food Drive assistance. “When people come to us for help they generally get it,” said LIFT-UP Executive Director Mike Powell. “We have food pantries in Parachute, Rifle, New Castle, Glenwood and Rifle. We offer three days’ worth of food three times a year. But do not confuse this service with the federal commodity program, which does have a qualification requirement established by the federal government.”Besides annual holiday Angel Tree and Food Drives, LIFT-UP offers The Extended Table, a soup kitchen operated out of the Methodist Church in Glenwood Springs. It serves hot meals five nights per week, Monday through Friday. Meals are prepared at home by volunteers who bring them to the church building and serve anyone who shows up hungry. LIFT-UP provides gas vouchers or bus tickets for people who have a job interview or a medical appointment, and provides Greyhound tickets to Grand Junction or Denver for stranded travelers. The nonprofit also provides thrift store vouchers to help people with clothing needs, and has an emergency fund that can be used at Powell’s discretion for extreme situations not covered in the organization’s normal menu of services.Approximately 60 volunteers work selflessly on a regular basis for LIFT-UP, as well as many more who work occasionally or seasonally.LIFT-UP frequently collaborates with Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army, and works with local churches and Garfield County Social Services. During the holidays, many organizations, such as New Castle Family Fitness, organize food drives for LIFT-UP distribution.”I am continually amazed by the generosity of Garfield County residents as well as those in Pitkin County,” Powell said. “I know how much they support LIFT-UP, and I hear what is being done for other nonprofits and it just blows me away.”Kay Vasilakis’s column “Nonprofit Spotlight” appears every other Wednesday. For news tips, call 984-2308.Kay Vasilakis’s column “Nonprofit Spotlight” appears every other Wednesday. For news tips, call 984-2308.

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