Hunger is a Logistics Problem

Do you know that there is more than enough food to feed everyone in this country, and that the challenge is to get the excess food to the hungry people? It is true – 100%. How sad is that? People are starving while food goes to waste. Have you ever thought, someone should do something about that?

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January is the Best Time to Understand Our Relationship with Alcohol

On Christmas Day, we gave rolling suitcases and backpacks to every homeless neighbor or person battling poverty that was in need at Christmas in the Park in Civic Center Park in Downtown Denver. The gifting was chaotic and hectic, and I’m not sure how many people we served. In past years, there have been over 1,000 struggling neighbors receiving gifts at this Christmas event, and the event has grown every year.

Thank you for supporting Stigma! From the donors of a single backpack, to the supporters who gave us hundreds of dollars to buy rolling suitcases and backpacks, all of you who believed in this mission helped us reach our goal of serving every single person who needed us. Thank you!

As we turn the page on the calendar, January is a big month in the fight to defeat the stigma. More people evaluate their drinking habits following the excesses of the holidays than in any other month of the year. As a high-functioning alcoholic now three years into permanent sobriety, I am painfully familiar with the mental gymnastics involved in analyzing my relationship with alcohol. Do I have a drinking problem, or am I just like everyone else – holding it together and feeling not quite right?

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Christmas in the Park is Here!

Christmas is here, and so is our Christmas in the Park event where we will give rolling suitcases and backpacks to our homeless neighbors. These gifts will be vital to their survival on the streets during the cold, harsh winter months.

I’ve spoken to a number of you this past week who want to contribute, but have not yet found time in you busy holiday schedule. It’s not too late for you to get involved, and we’re going to make it really easy for you.

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Your Gifts Save Lives – Christmas in the Park

If you live on the street in Denver in the wintertime, survival is a daily challenge. Our homeless neighbors have to carry all of their possessions with them everywhere they go, and having a place to store warm clothes is a matter of life or death.

On Christmas Day, we will gift rolling suitcases and backpacks to 1,000 of our homeless neighbors in Civic Center Park. These gifts are not a fashionable accessory or designed to make travel more convenient. Without a place to protect their essentials as they move around the cold city, they won’t survive until spring. We are making progress on our goal of giving a rolling suitcase or backpack to each and every person who needs one, but we’ve got a long way to go. To better understand the mission and the challenge we face, please watch this short and inspiring video from last year’s event.

We need your help. Check that basement storage area or the hall closet. Do you have any rolling suitcases or backpacks you can donate to our cause? Maybe you’ll notice inexpensive luggage on sale while you are Christmas shopping, or maybe you’d be willing to make a monetary donation.

Every little bit helps if we are going to reach our goal of 1,000 rolling suitcases and backpacks in time for Christmas. Thanks in advance for supporting our neighbors in the most need.

Matt and Sheri Salis

Help Collect Rolling Suitcases & Backpack for Our Homeless Neighbors

We’re making progress, but we’ve got a long way to go. We are trying to collect 1,000 new or gently used rolling suitcases and backpacks to be gifted to our homeless Denver neighbors on Christmas Day in Civic Center Park.

These rolling suitcases and backpacks are absolutely essential to the survival of our Denver residents who have no place to live through the cold winter months. Without this semi-safe and mobile place to protect their few warm belongings, they won’t live to see spring. Sorry for the drama, but it truly is a life or death situation.

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Community Service Project for Our Kids

Despite your best efforts and intentions, does the commercial side of Christmas overwhelm what it is really all about year after year? Are you worried that your kids are too focused on what they will get for Christmas, and they don’t have a passion for giving? For years, Sheri and I relied on increased bakery sales at Christmastime to make our business successful for the year. It nearly ruined Christmas for us. We didn’t make enough time to show our kids what Christmas is supposed to be all about. But we found the solution, and we want to share it with you.

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We Live Here: It’s Our Responsibility

Our Stigmattack fundraiser for the Denver Public Schools Homeless Education Network ends this week. Have you helped the most vulnerable population in Denver yet?

The weather this week is inconvenient for those of us with warm homes and reliable transportation. Just imagine if that inconvenience was suddenly a brutal, life-threatening disaster that required all of your effort just to survive. How could you make money in those conditions? How could you possibly learn and grow?

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Remember Us? We Still Care, Do You?

Remember back when we got to know each other, you and us? It was that bakery that brought us together, but we took it from there, didn’t we? We shared a piece of each other’s lives. We talked about the weather, our kids, things going on in the neighborhood. We became friends over the years, and I don’t honestly think the bread had much of anything to do with our fondness for you. The bread was an excuse. The connection was from shared ideas and mutual respect.

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Emily is a Certified Nursing Assistant with a good job and stable housing where she lives with her four kids under the age of six-years-old. The older children have settled in nicely to the new school year, and their path to a Denver Public Schools K-12 education is off to a great start. Without the intervention and assistance of the DPS Homeless Education Network, this story would have had a very different, likely tragic, ending.

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Are You Fueling the Stigma?

When I admitted to myself and my wife that I was a high-functioning alcoholic, I was filled with shame about my lack of control over my drinking and the damage I had done to our relationship. Do you want to know what was even more shameful for me in early sobriety? Being the only non-drinker in our alcohol-soaked society.

Gaining my permanent sobriety was the hardest thing I’ll likely ever do. The physical cravings were, frankly, easy to beat. Not drinking in a culture that worships alcohol, however, was gruelling and intensely painful. The stigma associated with alcoholism is the number one barrier to people finding relief in recovery.

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