There is nothing more important, to our societies and to us as individuals, than storytelling.
Do you enjoy telling or hearing a good, maybe slightly inappropriate, joke at a party? Everyone should know about the dog in Crested Butte that walks around the downtown upright on his hind legs. Of course, there might be no more sacred advice in our shared cultural conscious than that stuff about those who forget the past being doomed to repeat it.
And now as computers are being coded to start telling stories, the art of authentic human storytelling is more important than ever. Folk rock singer and songwriter, Brandi Carlile, reminds us of how important it is to see and be seen as part of experiencing our shared stories. “All of these lines across my face tell you the story of who I am.”
I recently watched a news story about an 84-years-running Harvard study about happiness. I was not surprised to learn that money, power, fame, material stuff, and social status are not indicators of happiness (in fact there is evidence that the opposite is true). What is the one thing that happy people have in common?
We all know that, “what goes up, must come down,” but do you know that the opposite is also true? The stuff we push down is coming up and out sooner or later. You can let it out in a healthy way with a supportive and empathetic group of people thirsty for stories about the human experience, or you can keep pushing those toxins down, and let them boil over on their own terms. If there is one thing I know above all else it is the healing power of vulnerable story telling.
Here in Denver, today is widely recognized as “Colorado Gives Day.” It is the end of the tax year, and we are thankful for the efforts of an organization named, “Colorado Gives,” for helping remind our neighbors about all of the worthy nonprofit organizations we have in this state. Not only do they remind, but they consolidate. They make it easy to go to their website, and donate to thousands of nonprofits. We are proud to be one of them.
They call today, “Colorado Gives Day.” Here at Stigma, we call it, “Rolling Suitcases Day.” We are (kind of desperately) hopeful that this is the day we raise enough money to purchase the rest of the rolling suitcases we need to meet the demand at Christmas in the Park on December 25th.
Can you imagine what it would be like to have to take all of your possessions with you everywhere you go? For our homeless neighbors, that challenge is a reality.
That’s why we are honored to again be participating in Christmas in the Park – an event held on Christmas Day in downtown Denver in support and service of our homeless residents. Again this year, our role in this holiday event is to collect and distribute rolling suitcases to help our homeless neighbors navigate their lives on the streets.
Business is picking up. That is both exciting (it means the word is spreading about our emergency relief food bags we call Neighborlies), and it means the need for food assistance remains (sadly) very high in Denver.
Our friends at SAME Cafe have generously offered an incentive to all participants at our Open Mic night this Thursday, February 24th from 6pm to 8pm. Anyone who takes to the stage and shares your truth will receive two free meal tokens – one for you and one for a guest. If you’ve never eaten the culinary creations at SAME Cafe, now is your chance. Be heard by a warm and loving audience, and enjoy some of the finest cuisine Denver has to offer.
Do you have a story that your soul is itching to share? How about some poetry that is poised to land on eager ears? Do you play an instrument, sing, dance or tell jokes? Please join us for an Open Mic Night at SAME Cafe (2023 E. Colfax, Denver, 80206) on Thursday, February 24th from 6pm to 8pm. We would love to have you attend even if you decide not to step up to the mic because…
We were “sold out” again this year. We brought over 200 rolling suitcases to our annual Christmas Day event to serve our homeless neighbors, and we gave every single one of them away. We also brought 1,200 backpacks, so everyone in the park that day received multiple gifts to help them transport their belongings and survive on the cold winter streets.
All fall, we ask for your support. We ask you to donate rolling suitcases, and we ask you to donate money. And this year, as is the case every year, we are uncertain how we are going to pull it together, but you always come through for us in the end. Thank you for all who donated, and all who participated, to make this our most successful Christmas in the Park event ever.
In less than three weeks, we will be giving the rolling suitcases we’ve collected to our homeless neighbors on Christmas Day. Our Christmas in the Park event takes place in Civic Center Park, and we are in the stretch run to be ready.
What’s this all about? Why rolling suitcases for the people least able to take a vacation? Watch this short video to understand our mission: