Denver is hosting a grand event to which we are all cordially invited to come and dress comfortably. Actually, more than comfortably; more like warm and snuggly. Wear your pajamas on January 28th and participate in the Fifth Annual PJ DAY celebrations occurring in the city’s schools, restaurants and offices. The evening culminated with a fundraiser to benefit Denvers Road Home. The party takes place at the Residence Inn Denver City Center.
Chronic homelessness has been reduced by 81%)in the past four years and Denver is well on the road towards reaching their goal of reducing homelessness overall by 75% in five years. This just goes to show that where commitment and creativity hit the road together, even the government can be part of the solution. Denver’s Project Homeless Connect is an award winning model which other U.S. cities can emulate.
Last week I spoke to a class of middle school students and had the pleasure of announcing the schools participation in PJ Day. On that day, students will roll out of bed, eat breakfast and come to class. I can’t vouch for whether or not the students will change into fresh pjs or if they’ll just come as they are but I can say that the kids were excited about the prospects. On January 28th, students will either donate $1 to the cure for homelessness, or donate toiletries and spare change.
Last week I was nervous about whether the kids would talk to me or if I’d be reduced to a 40 minute soliloquy. I’m happy to report that they were engaged. I busted some myths about who the homeless are by surprising students with statistics such as homeless people are not only male. Women and children are homeless (29% are women and 60% are people in families with children). Another myth shattered: homeless people may actually be employed (60%) and yet still can’t afford shelter.
We discussed other ways for kids to get involved such as the Aurora Water Great Highline Canal Clean-up on March 20th. Five hundred volunteers, ages 8 and up, are needed. Click here for more information.
How it all began, 2009 new year’s resolution to explore my community by volunteering at a new local nonprofit each month. I’m available to speak at your church, school, club or event and for consultations on ways your business or group can become more socially engaged.