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Around the holidays, we start to feel more than a drop in temperature. There is a shift in mood as people begin to plan for the holidays. We don our holiday sweaters, reconnect with loved ones, and if we’re lucky, the only contagious thing we spread around is a bit of holiday spirit. And from this surge in joy and festivities comes the season of goodwill. Many people see the holidays as a great opportunity to donate their time, money or belongings to those in need. Unfortunately, we also see a rise in holiday scams and fraud preying on this spirit of giving. So today let’s review some safety advice from ConsumerSafety.org to protect you and your family this holiday season.

 

There are certain tell-tale signs to identify a charity scam:

Are you being asked to wire cash or send money overseas?

Even a charity that works in other countries will have a U.S. bank account. A legitimate charity won’t ask for funds this way, or if they do, it will be one donation option among many to choose from. Keeping your bank account information to yourself and using sites with encryption technology when paying with credit cards will help to protect your finances from scams.

Does the charity solicitor make you feel uncomfortable?

If the solicitor is asking for an immediate donation, evading questions, pestering you, asking inappropriate questions or in anyway intimidating you, remember that you are in no way obligated to continue the conversation. This behavior is commonly seen in scams, and it is your right to step away from the situation.

Did the charity send you an E-mail attachment?

Don’t open it. According to Charity Navigator, legitimate charities rarely use email attachments, preferring to direct you to their website. Scammers, however, will embed viruses into those attachment links. These viruses could give scammers the ability to steal your banking information or your identity.

 

Before donating to a charity, do your homework. There are plenty of sites that rate charities based on their work and the way they spend their funds. You can also ask questions directly to the solicitors if you want more information and proof that they are working for a legitimate organization. Here is a helpful charity checklist from The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to go over before donating to a charity.

Now as you make both monetary and in-kind donations this holiday season, there are a few things to remember to keep those receiving your donations safety. First off, it’s important to remember that holiday donations are not a way to declutter your home. Yes, donating gently used items can be a great way to recycle toys, clothing, or other goods that your family doesn’t use. However, those receiving these gifts deserve clean, well-maintained items, not junk. There are also some used items that shouldn’t be donated at all. For example, used safety equipment like sports pads, helmets, or car seats could risk the recipient’s safety. Used cloth toys that are difficult to sanitize could spread germs or bacteria to the child in need. Avoid these types of donations to protect those you are trying to help.

Finally, remember a monetary donation is never a “lazy” or “boring” gift. For most charities, they are able to stretch their monetary donations farther to help more people in need and cover important overhead costs to continue their mission of helping the community. A check can be a bigger blessing than you might think. If you are looking for ways to volunteer your time or charities supporting the Denver community and surrounding areas this holiday season, look into the Dolls for Daughters’ initiatives and become a force for good this season of giving!

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mom’s Night Out Productions moves beyond movie nights to stage uplifting and fun evening for busy parents 

DENVER – Moms spend a lot of time working, raising their family and caring for their community. It’s what makes a Mom’s night out so important. Yet, many Denver women find difficulty taking a break from their responsibilities in a way that still allows them to feel good about the time away from home.

Mom’s Night Out Productions, LLC was founded in 2016 to help alleviate that issue by creating fun, social events that help raise money for education. Next up for the organization is “The Mom UP! Project,” on Thursday, Jan. 25, an evening of camaraderie promising pop-up shops from unique merchants and two cash bars. A highlight of the evening will be the “30 UP! Showcase,” where attendees will hear from a wide range of expert speakers on topics ranging from the state of education and child/family temperament to women’s sexual health and the afterlife.

In addition, each attendee will receive a swag bag filled with offers from participating businesses. The best part: $8 from each ticket sold will be donated back to the Colorado school of your choice.

“Moms need a night out. That will never change. But they also want to raise funds for education,” said Tricia Chinn-Campbell, who founded Mom’s Night Out Productions. “This event will be a unique evening combining everything that helps to shape the communities we live in. That is what fueled the Mom UP! Project—a mom-strong community combined with social responsibility to help our schools and local businesses.”

Last year, the organization’s movie night fund-raisers for individual public school PTAs proved so popular, Campbell decided a broader event helping a larger number of schools was needed. Held at The Hangar at Stanley in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood, The Mom UP! Project will welcome up to 1,500 people to enjoy shopping, experiential romps and mingling all for a great cause. What’s more, attendees will be greeted at the door with unique swag bags sure to be the talk of the evening (previous swag bags at Mom’s Night Out events have included gifts and offers valued at more than $500).

The evening’s 30 UP! Showcase will focus on a variety of topics. Those scheduled to appear include:

  • Eric Gorski, bureau chief of Chalkbeat Colorado – the non-profit news organization committed to covering education
  • Chef Maggie O’Toole, cooking teacher and professionally trained chef
  • Heather Hunter, evidential spirit medium
  • Sarah Stabio, owner of The Bar Method Denver Stapleton and certified instructor
  • Wendy Gossett, temperament specialist who has given frustrated parents the “user manual” for their kids
  • Bridget Molloy, certified herbalist who specializes in sexual well-being and women’s health

“The speaker lineup is spot on for this audience,” Campbell said. “It’s my hope that every attendee will walk away feeling they’ve learned something new or have been enlightened in some way.”

Tickets for The Mom UP! Project at The Hangar at Stanley are currently available with “early bird” pricing: $20 for ticket w/ standard swag bag; $35 for ticket w/ VIP swag bag. Early bird pricing is good through Dec. 15 after which prices increase to $27 and $42, respectively. For those who can’t make the event but still want to participate, digital swag bags are also available.

To purchase tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2910271
For more information, visit www.momupproject.buzz

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This year we were able to provide 1,038 students with backpacks full of school supplies through our Packz4Kidz program. We partnered with Ink Monstr Graphic Design and Print, and were able to serve three times the number of students than we did in 2016.  At the event, “Ink Monstr and Packz4Kidz Presents Denver Days” saw more than 2,000 people.

In addition to backpacks full of school supplies, students were provided with a water bottle, toothbrush/toothpaste/dental floss, a wooden toy car provided by Toys for Gods Kids and 190 students received a lunchbox. Sandwiches and drinks were provided along with an art wall for coloring, a bounce house, a water slide and other games. Famous Fadez Barber Shop gave way 300 free haircut coupons. Princesses Snow White and Anna attended from Princess Ever After. The Denver Police Department also participated with one of their cars and the Denver Fire Department arrived with a fire truck the kids could sit inside.

Founder Jessica Bachus said, I wanted to honor Kenzi turning 10 this year and give away 1,000 backpacks. We did that and more. I will never be able to see Kenzi pick out a backpack or school supplies but it was amazing seeing the smiles on the faces of the children we were able to serve. Without my team and our sponsors and partners, we would have never been able to grow Packz4Kidz this much in one year. I am incredibly lucky to have so many who believe in the work we do.”

Packz4Kidz sponsors and vendors included Telemundo Denver, Safelite AutoGlass, 1 Up Drone, Altitude Contracting, Titan Construction, Civitan Club of Aurora, Fresh Start, Red Bull, Pepsi, KS Morning Show, Delta Dental, Wahoos, Ogib Creative, Ramos Injury Law Firm, DJ Low Key and & DJ Pat A, Perky Jerky, Jammy Pack, Sun Valley Youth Center and Denver Preschool Program.   

A special thanks goes out to the 75 volunteers that contributed 241 volunteer hours to making this event a success. We couldn’t do it without you!

After the event, we received such an outpouring of thanks and gratitude from the families we were able to support.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you and your organization. Today I received three very nice backpacks full of school supplies, not to mention the food and fun activities include. (All free) I was very worried about how I was going to provide all three of my children with the school supplies necessary, beining a single mother with  just enough to pay the monthly bills, I was in a panic. Until I came across your website, knowing they are all set, excited and very happy to start school! I can’t express enough how very grateful and humble we are! Thank you to you and your amazing team for making this possible! You are all truly Angel’s her on Earth! My family and I hope you have very blessed year! Thank you again, Barbara M.
 

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Are you looking for ways to support our organization? Are you active on social media?

Help Dolls for Daughters spread the word about Packz 4 Kidz and our upcoming backpack drive. Below you will find some suggested posts & text to share with your network on your favorite social media sites. It’s with your support that we are able to make a difference in the lives of so many children in our community.

Click the Share The Love button to share the post online.


Sample Facebook Posts

share the love

Summer is here which means Back to School season is just around the corner. Want to help @DollsforDaughters collect backpacks and other school supplies for the children in need? Find out more about how you make a difference for children this fall #Packz4kidz  http://www.dollsfordaughters.com/causes/packz-4-kidz/

 

share the loveHelp @DollsforDaughters reach their goal of providing 1,00 low-income children new backpacks full of school supplies to rock their first day of school! Confidence goes a long way in ensuring that children excel and become successful students. #Packz4kidz http://www.dollsfordaughters.com/causes/packz-4-kidz/

 

share the love

Sponsor a backpack for a child in need this year. An online donation of $75 will provide a new backpack filled with school supplies for one child. @DollsforDaughters is aiming to help 1,000 children in our program this year. http://www.dollsfordaughters.com/causes/packz-4-kidz/

 


Twitter posts

share the loveHelp the @DollsforDaughters initiative by hosting a backpack drive. NEW backpacks and school supplies needed. #Packz4kidz http://bit.ly/2rkjHt1

 

share the loveSponsor a backpack for a child in need. $75 online donation makes one child’s first day of school EPIC! http://bit.ly/2rkjHt1 #Packz4Kidz

 

share the loveHelp @DollsforDaughters reach their goal of giving 1,000 children everything they need for the first day of school? http://bit.ly/2rkjHt1 #Packz4Kidz

 

share the loveTake advantage of all those #backtoschool sales and help out a kid in need this fall. #Packz4Kidz http://bit.ly/2rkjHt1

 

share the loveFill a Pack and Change a Child! Give them a big smile and loads of confidence on their first day of school! http://bit.ly/2rkjHt1 #Packz4Kidz

 


Drop Off Locations Post

share the loveWe are an official drop off location for the @DollsforDaughters Annual Backpack & School Supplies Drive. Bring in NEW backpacks and school supplies to help a kid out on their first day of school this year. Their goal is to provide 1,000 low-income children new backpacks full of school supplies to rock their first day of school! #Packz4Kidz http://bit.ly/2rkjHt1

 

 


Sample Email to share your support.

Dear Friends/Coworkers/Team,

I am reaching out to let you know that [I am/we are/Company Name is] participating in the Packz 4 Kidz drive to provide new backpacks and school supplies to 1,000 low-income children in our community this Back to School season.

We have partnered with Dolls for Daughters and Kenzi’s Kidz, a Denver nonprofit that has been giving back to the children in their community since 2008.

Friends, when you are out shopping for school supplies for your kids this year, consider picking up an extra backpack, lunchbox, water bottle, Crayola crayons, Crayola markers, Crayola coloring pencils, #2 pencils, black and blue pens, pencil pouch, glue sticks, black marbled notebooks, wide ruled and college ruled paper, scissors, and scientific calculators.

I am/we are excited to partner with them to collect these necessary items to ensure these children are successful in school. Don’t have time to purchase supplies? An online donation of $75 will get one child a new backpack filled with school supplies for their first day. Find out more about the program at: http://www.dollsfordaughters.com/causes/packz-4-kidz/

It takes the resources and collective hearts of many and it takes support from wonderful people like you to carry out this mission to support underprivileged children and their families in Colorado.

You can drop off your donations at: ___________________

Or contact ____________ directly for more information.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

 

[Salutation]

To learn more about Dolls for Daughters and Kenzi’s Kidz the good work they do visit: http://www.dollsfordaughters.com
Dolls for Daughters and Kenzi’s Kidz is a 501(c)(3) organization. EIN: 26-4678835

 

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Since the beginning, Kenzi’s Kidz has stood for creating stable environments for children in Colorado – a safe haven for low-income families so that their kids have the best possible chance for success in school and at home.

The Colorado Rockies have always been a great outing for families – a place to breathe in the fresh air, root for the home team, and enjoy one of America’s favorite pastimes. Our Board Member Tonya Bradshaw organized a trip to the stadium so families in the program and our alumni families could have a night out at a baseball game, something many of them have never done before or are unable to do because of the cost.

The Colorado Rockies pitched in to ensure that families in our Kenzi’s Kidz program were able to attend the Rockies vs the Giants. Just our luck – the Rockies won 6 to 5!  With more than 50 people huddled in the rain, our families and board members, along with their friends and families, enjoyed some time together and some baseball. We are deeply appreciative of everyone’s efforts that helped make this outing a success.

What a fantastic day for the Rockies AND Kenzi’s Kidz!!

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Dolls for Daughters expresses their gratitude for another hugely successful Bowl-A-Thon held on March 11th at the Brunswick Zone in Westminster. Our 9th annual event was so popular that it sold out and increased visibility for businesses within our community while supporting a charity that focuses on giving back to underprivileged children and their families in Colorado.

There were 428 brand new toys donated that will be given to low-income children on Saturday, December 2nd.

Our 50/50 drawing was also an enormous success and the winner received $727.50! Our organization raised $1,155.00 total during the event that moves us toward reaching our overall goal of positively impacting the lives of 10,000 children in Colorado.

Thanks so much to the generosity of our sponsors: Sanitas Progressive Skin Health, Platte River Mortgage & Investments Inc., By the Numbers Bookkeeping & Accounting, PorchLight Real Estate Group, AB Court Reporting & Video, Orange Theory Fitness, Bachus and Schanker Cares Foundation, and Miller & Associates CPAs LLC. We couldn’t have done it without each of you!

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Our 1st Annual Fort Collins Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop was held on Saturday, December 3rd , at the Nights of Columbus. The doors opened at 9 am with volunteers ready to serve those in line looking for gifts this holiday season for their children. Our event was able to serve 346 children and 149 families with a total of 2,422 items going out the door!  

Serving such a large number of children takes a lot of volunteers, 111 to be exact!  We had 32 volunteers from the Fort Collins High School Baseball Team and 79 volunteers from throughout the community including from Kohls and YMSL FortCollins (Young Men and Moms Making a Difference).

One high school volunteer even helped with the difficult task of going over our pre-gift survey with our Spanish speaking families. This young man is currently in Spanish 4 at Fort Collins High School and we think he deserves an A for his help!

Another volunteer, a mom, was thankful for this experience because it allowed her to spend time with her son who also volunteered. Helping others in need together reminded her what’s really important over the holiday season.

The volunteers helped each child in line receive a new toy, stocking, stocking stuffer, and book. In addition, each child received a toothbrush/toothpaste kit courtesy of Delta Dental.

We were also able to provide 100 toys to Crossroads Safehouse in addition to those children served at our toy shop. As our program grows in Fort Collins, we look to partner with other agencies that work with children who would otherwise go without a new toy at Christmas.

We want to extend a huge thank you to all who volunteered their time or donated items/money, and to the sponsors of the event; Bachus and Schanker Cares Foundation, Delta Dental, and Twisted Lens Photo Colorado. Thank you for all your support to make our Toy Shop a success!  

It is such an honor to be able to deliver holiday cheer to children who need a little extra love in their lives.

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Longmont Toy Shop Event Success

On Saturday, December 3rd, we held our First Annual Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop sponsored by Longmont Ford.  Through the efforts of many volunteers and donations, we are pleased to announce that this event was an absolute success!

219 families and 701 children were served, receiving toys and other donated goodies.  Toys were supplied by Victory Motors of Colorado, Paint Pros, and Autoplex (all local Longmont companies), Longmont Modern Dentisty supplied toothbrushes and toothpaste, Chick-Fil-A provided 300 gift cards, and Safeway donated 600 donuts!  The majority of the money donated for toys came from Longmont Ford employees with owner Mike Peebles filling in the rest where needed.

Donations, both physical and monetary, are absolutely necessary for a Toy Drive’s success, but even more important are the volunteers who run the show.  Our Longmont Toy Shop saw 60 volunteers, all Longmont Ford employees and their families!  With such an amazing turnout of volunteers, it’s no wonder we were able to serve so many children and families this holiday season!

Every volunteer and recipient left with a smile on their face and warmth in their heart.

The Longmont Ford staff had their company party that evening after the event and it seems the Toy Shop event was the talk of the evening.

One volunteer said, “I thoroughly enjoyed myself! The Toy Shop was well organized and flowed very smoothly!  It was a wonderful feeling to see the excitement in the children’s faces!  It shouldn’t only be at Christmas that this happens, but that’s the way life is.  I hope that this event is the first of many.  It truly was a sight to see and even more heartfelt when you were there helping in the midst of it all!  I definitely will volunteer again.  I mean really… what else would a Grannie do?!” – Joyce-Family Member of Longmont Ford Employees.

We agree Joyce, the love and gifts the children received at this event should be felt year-round, but at the very least, we are happy to have been able to provide such a successful and joyful event during this special time of year. We want to extend a huge thank you to all of the volunteers, donors, and sponsors whose generosity made this all possible.

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Saturday, December 3rd marked our 7th Annual Denver Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop.  Our goal was to serve 5,000 children, providing each child with a new toy, a Lego set, a stocking, a new stocking stuffer, a new book/bookmark and a new toothbrush and toothpaste kit. Through the help of countless volunteers, we nearly hit our mark and served 4,609 children and 1,404 families!  Every recipient left our venue full of joy and smiles.

As families lined up to get their tickets for the Toy Shop, they were greeted by volunteers in Disney characters.  Local police officers helped hand out socks, Telemundo distributed food and snacks, and many other vendors had booths with helpful information for the families.  Our lucky first person in line even won a brand new TV! (you can see her reaction here) It’s such an amazing feeling to provide such service to our community.

We wanted to extend a special thank you to the following companies for their generous contributions: Operation Warm for giving away 1,200 coats, Sock it to ‘Em Campaign for giving away 6,550 pairs of socks, and Walgreens for giving 171 flu shots.  A total of 59,086 items went out the door on Saturday including our new Kenzi Bear.

One participant had this to say about the event:

“….I want to say thank you so much! The teddy bears are something we’re going to cherish and have a special place for in our hearts forever… Especially my daughter MaKenzie. I am from Pueblo and I have a good size group that I’m pretty sure would love to volunteer if you had a Toy Shop in Pueblo. Please keep me updated. And again thank you so much for everything.” –Greatful Mom from Pueblo.

Knowing how much happiness and joy we deliver to these children and their families is why we continue providing these Toy Shops year after year.  We realize that gifts are not the meaning of the holiday season, but when you come from a family that doesn’t have much to begin with, receiving coats, socks, and a teddy bear can make all the difference for a child and their parents.

We could not have reached these numbers without the support of the drop-off locations, sponsors, volunteers, and the generous donations you from all of you throughout the year. Thank you for helping us make the holidays brighter for children in Colorado and for honoring my daughter Kenzi for the 10th year.

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Thursday, November 3rd marked our Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Drive Kick Off Party!  The evening was hosted at the fashionable clothing store, Garbarini, who offered guests who brought in a new toy donation valued at $20 or more, 20% off their entire purchase that evening.  Many of our donors walked out with fabulous new clothing that they can feel great about wearing since the toy donation will help kids in need have a brighter holiday season.  Guests also enjoyed champagne, beer, finger foods, and good company.

Joining us for the evening were familiar faces as well as new ones, all wanting to be a part of raising money for the toy drive.  Between the 25 guests who attended the event, we raised $660 and collected 30 new toys!  Every little bit counts and these donations will go a long way in ensuring the girls and boys around Denver will have an enjoyable Christmas.

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If you missed out on our Toy Drive Kick Off Party, but still want to donate a new toy to the toy drive, please check out our Toy Drive page for drop off locations and times.  http://www.dollsfordaughters.com/toy-drop-off-locations/

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