Beat the COVID Blues

Howdy stigma fighters. I know how much you care about your neighbors and our community. I also know how isolating and lonely it feels to do the right thing to prevent the spread of the virus. Nothing beats the loneliness and constant negativity like helping others. Here at Stigma, we challenge you to get involved in our Denver community. Below are four ways to participate. Please pick at least one, and make a difference in the lives of others (cause it will help you beat the COVID blues, too!).

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Grant Funding Received

We have so much big news to share with you, our loyal supporters. We are making some significant progress in our efforts to crush the stigma!

Let’s get seriously Neighborly!

We have been approved to receive emergency relief “donation match” grant funding that we will use to supply Neighborlies to homeless students in Denver Public Schools. Thanks to all of you who have helped us distribute our new emergency relief food bags called “Neighborlies” to our homeless neighbors around Denver. Now we are going to need your help to supply potentially thousands of them to the DPS Homeless Education Network!

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Neighborlies – Round 2

It’s a helpless feeling, isn’t it. We’ve all been impacted by COVID. Many of us have had our income trimmed, but we know that so many are suffering so much worse than we are. It’s so hard to know of the suffering, to feel it in our bones, and to sit helpless doing nothing.

So don’t be helpless. Be neighborly!

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It’s Time to get Neighborly

These are our emergency relief food bags. Here at Stigma, we call them “Neighborlies.” We give them to our homeless neighbors, because it seems like the neighborly thing to do. And now, we want to give some neighborlies to you. You’re not homeless. You’re not food insecure, but still, we want you to be the recipients of our Neighborlies, and for free. We are not asking for a donation. There are no strings attached. By taking some Neighborlies off our hands, you will be helping us in our mission to crush the stigma associated with addiction, homelessness and food insecurity. Please let me explain.

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3 Ways to Fight the Stigma from Home

You’ve seen them in your social media feed – an endless supply of posts about day drinking and using wine as the cure for all that ails us during stay safe, stay home orders and recommendations. Pretty funny, huh.

You’ve also surely seen the news reports about the impact of excessive quarantine drinking. Alcohol sales were up 55% right from the start of the lockdown according to Nielsen.

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Let’s Help SAME Cafe Feed Our Hungry Neighbors

When our bread baking days were through, we donated lots of our bakery equipment, thanks to your generous support, to Denver’s first nonprofit restaurant called SAME Cafe. I’m pictured here with Letisha Steele, Operations Officer and Chef from SAME Cafe.

SAME is an acronym for, “So All May Eat,” but it is also at the core of their mission to treat all people, regardless of economic situation, the SAME. They make it their business to love everyone.

Normally, SAME Cafe serves a healthy lunch to anyone who is hungry regardless of their ability to pay. They accept donations from people with the means, and encourage others to contribute time or produce in exchange for their meals. That’s what they normally do. But these are not normal times.

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Good News from the IRS – What?

It’s official! We received our tax exempt letter from the IRS. Stigma has received our 501c3 status. That means all of your generous support, all of your donations in 2020 and into the future, are fully tax deductible as you help us fight the stigmas of addiction, homelessness and poverty.

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New Program to Fight the Stigma

Thanks to your generous support, Stigma is proud to announce our newest program called Echoes of Recovery. Everyone is touched by alcoholism in one way or another. For many of us, we need help recovering from the impact of the drinking of someone we love. That’s what Echoes of Recovery is all about!

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Hunger Survives Pandemic

As we all do the right things, social distance and stay home as much as possible, the needs of our homeless neighbors are greater than ever.

We called for your help, and our Stigma volunteers delivered! You donated peanut butter, jelly, bread, and a whole bunch of pairs of socks for us to distribute in Civic Center Park this past Thursday. One of our loving neighbors even rallied her block to make sandwiches for us to distribute. The kindness and generosity was overwhelming!

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Look Them in the Eyes…They are Never Seen

“Take off your sunglasses and look them in the eyes. These people are never seen. More than anything else, our purpose today is to see them.” Reverend Jerry Herships shared those instructions with me and a group of volunteers the first time I helped out in Civic Center Park, and I’ll never forget those words.

The people suffering through homelessness in our city and across the country all face a stigma that largely leaves them without dignity. When we address them, when we serve them, by looking them in the eyes and showing human empathy, we make strides to end that very stigma.

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