Leave it Behind!  CSU Turns a Perennial Problem into a Blessing (and Blue Margin-ers got the chance to help)

Ahhh, dorm life!  In August, you don't have enough stuff to make it feel home-y. By May, you've accumulated more stuff than can possibly fit into your hand-me-down sedan.

Nearly 10 years ago, Colorado State University (GO RAMS!) set up a program called the “Leave It Behind Event." CSU partners with local non-profits to collect, sort, and redistribute items that students leave behind when moving out of their dorms. 

Blue Margin-ers Have Been Busy-Bees this Spring!

Over the last several weeks, Blue Margin Community Works volunteers have assisted local non-profits with a variety of projects.  The month started off at Harmony House, a historic farm house donated to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Larimer County in 1991.  The resource serves as a safe space where abused and neglected children can meet with their families for supervised custody exchanges and court-appointed visits.  

How to Help the Hungry

Let’s start with some stats on two Northern Colorado counties.

County #1:

County #2:

The Girl with the Autism Tattoo

Meet Quincy Bowles. 

On her right arm, she has a tattoo with two puzzle pieces and two hands, a symbol of her journey with children with autism. 

We met Quincy, the School-Age Program Coordinator with Respite Care, while volunteering through Blue Margin's Community Works program.  We joined Quincy and a group of Respite Care's children with developmental disabilities on a field trip to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.  We had a great time exploring the museum with this amazing group of kids! 

One of the gifts of volunteering is meeting the enthusiastic professionals, like Quincy, who dedicate themselves to amazing causes.  We wanted to know more about Quincy’s story, and of course, her tattoo.

Serving it Up Hot at Loveland Community Kitchen

For our Blue Margin team, it was no sweat. Ninety-one degrees, a broken air conditioner, and multiple ovens-a-blazing to cook lunch for a room full of people … well, it actually was pretty sweaty.

Sweltering conditions didn’t stop the Loveland Community Kitchen from serving lunch to over 80 Loveland residents who need a nutritious meal.  

Giving a Toast to What Matters Most

It’s that time of year again!

Blue Margin volunteered with Homeless Gear to set up for their annual Toast to Transitions event.  Let’s just say our team members are darn-near-experts at setting up for this event – we enjoy it every year!

Toast to Transitions is Homeless Gear’s largest source of revenue generation, with more than 285 community members who attended this year. 

We whipped out our measuring tapes, took direction from the event planner, and transformed the venue from gymnasium to grand dining room.

The Power of the Book Box!

Pop quiz:  Name a place in the world with only 1 book for every 300 children.

Answer?

Low-income areas, right here in the United States. 

Shocked?  You should be.

Book Trust’s mission is to change that staggering statistic and break the cycle of poverty for a growing number of children.  Blue Margin believes in this mission and has been a long-time supporter of Book Trust, both financially and as volunteers. 

Respite Care Is Getting "Seussed-Up" for their Fundraiser!

The Blue Margin team headed out again, this time volunteering for the Fort Collins Respite Care.  It might be one of our team’s most favorite volunteer spots because we get to help special needs children.

Our team stayed busy creating Dr. Seuss-themed centerpieces for their 2017 Perennial Luncheon later this month.  Fundraisers like this ensure great things for Respite Care.  Last fall, they used their donations to install an elevator allowing wheelchair-bound kids to access recreational facilities in the basement.

Homeless Gear - Teen in Need Event

Last week, as part of Blue Margin’s Community Works program, our team volunteered at the Homeless Gear Warehouse (one of our favorite local organizations) to prepare for their Teen in Need event.  The event targets teens with non-permanent housing or without adult supervision.  They’re typically runaways or have been abandoned in some way.  The goal is to provide the basics in terms of clothing and other gear (e.g., water-bottles, sleeping bags, etc.) so they can actively participate in school. 

The Gift of Serendipity

“Are you here to volunteer for the event?” asked a young woman driving a mini-van.

“Yes, I am! Thanks for the ride – it’s cold this morning!” I responded, getting into the van with several other volunteers, each thankful for a refuge from the freezing weather.

When we arrived at our destination, I stood in line for my volunteer badge, signed my waiver, and then realized I was in the wrong building, at the wrong event!  I consoled myself with the idea that this must happen all the time in Old Town Fort Collins around Christmas – lots of charitable events, lots of volunteers, lots of busy-ness.

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