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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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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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14079557_1067060453369679_7966113507748325448_nLast Saturday, August 20th, Dolls for Daughters had the pleasure of participating in the Kids Choice 5th Annual Health and Wellness Fair.  This incredible event is hosted by Kids Choice Dental and its aim is to give back to the community by serving free food and desserts, giving away raffle prizes, playing music from a guest DJ, and providing an opportunity for local youth dance groups to perform.  With over 1500 people attending this event, it’s an amazing opportunity for companies who provide services to lower income families to educate, enlighten, and engage attendees and participants about the options available to them.

Kids Choice Dental provided free dental, vision, and ortho screenings for families at the fair.  They also offered a cleaning with X-rays for only $49.  Quality dental care can be difficult to obtain for some families and this event makes these necessary services available for anyone who attends!

Other highlights from the fair include 70 bicycles that were given away as well as a bicycle repair area for attendees to bring their own bikes to be serviced.  Other companies such as UPS, were looking for employees and providing new job opportunities.

Dolls for Daughters has been lucky enough to be invited to this event for the past three years and we look forward to continued participation!  Our goal at this event is to inform and educate the community about our Annual Toy Shop (held in December) which provides assistance to 6,000 children ages birth to 18 by gifting 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.  We have also partnered with Walgreens for the past two years to offer free flu shots to those who attend our Toy Shop.

Our participation at the fair also serves to enlighten the community, and other companies, about the various ways Dolls for Daughters and Kenzi’s Kidz offers assistance and support for those in need.

Thanks to our Packz for Kidz program, we were able to give out 16 backpacks filled with school supplies to some of the kids who attended the Health and Wellness Fair this year.  (The other 286 backpacks were given out at our official Packz for Kidz event earlier this month.)

We love opportunities to connect with and educate those in our community who could benefit from the services and programs Dolls for Daughters offers.  We thank board member, Alex Benko for his time spent running the DfD table at the Health and Wellness Fair this year and helping us make those connections and relationships that will ensure our success in the community.

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Last Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at a regional meeting for Wells Fargo managers from Minnesota, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana.  My participation was two-fold, to share about Dolls for Daughters and to help the managers work on teamwork skills while supporting the kids through a Bike Build.

I first shared with them about my journey in creating Dolls for Daughters and how much my life has changed since I lost Kenzi.  I told them about how our toy shop impacted 4,442 lives in 2015 and how those small items change the lives of children in poverty.  I find when I open up and share about my journey and the positive change we make in lives, it opens the doors for others to share about their losses that they may still be healing from.  At the dinner and happy hour, one woman shared with me how she had lost her grandson after he was born at 26 weeks.  He lived for a couple weeks, but didn’t make it through.  The experience was devastating for her and her son and daughter-in-law.  We talked about how even though her son had another baby, he doesn’t replace the one they lost.  Conversations like this provide so much healing and much needed comfort from others who have experienced similar traumatic events.  I love speaking at events like this and helping others move through their journeys of healing.
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After dinner and happy hour, the managers began the Bike Build!  They were broken up into teams and each team had to complete challenges together in order to earn parts to build their bikes!  The challenges included stacking mini cakes on their faces (some four high!), trying to find a way to get an Oreo from their foreheads to their mouths with no hands, and assembling a puzzle without talking!  Although very fun and entertaining, these activities helped the managers with team building and team work, and in the end, they built eight bikes to be donated to our program!  We were also given two additional bikes and $800 in donations.  It brings me such joy interacting with people who believe in making a difference!

 

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It’s one thing for me to speak at these events and raise awareness about Dolls for Daughters, but it’s another thing knowing that I left a lasting impression on the audience.  One of the managers wrote me afterwards, “Thank you so much for being such an awesome part of our event this week. Thank you for giving your time and evening to spend with us. I truly cannot say enough about what your involvement meant.  I’ve heard feedback from a number of our managers who participated and they have ALL mentioned how incredible it was to have you speak and hear your passion & focus. Thank you for helping make this evening such a blessing to so many. We really appreciated you staying around and spending time with our team.”  This type of feedback just solidifies my passion and desire to continue helping the children of Colorado through Dolls for Daughters and Kenzi’s Kidz and to help others through their own journeys of healing!

I walked away that evening with a smile on my face and joy in my heart knowing 10 children would have a new bike because of this group and that three other individuals were inspired enough to donate $800 to our programs.

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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 our causes and our upcoming Toy 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 loveHelp @Dolls for Daughters make a change this Holiday Season! Support their 8th Annual Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop. To learn more about this organization watch their video here: https://youtu.be/6F141SiOw6w

 

share the loveAcross the state in 2012, 224,000 Colorado children lived in poverty. With your help, we can impact the lives of these children by providing them a new toy for the holidays. YOU are the difference in this community and we need your support. Below is a list of items @Dolls for Daughters would like to purchase for the 8th Annual Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop. Consider making a donation that is meaningful to you and your business today. http://www.dollsfordaughters.com/donate

 

share the love@Dolls For Daughters is now accepting toy and doll donations for their 8th Annual Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop. For a list of drop-off locations visit our website. http://www.dollsfordaughters.com/toy-drop-off-locations/

 

share the loveSave the date! December 2, 2017 is the date of the 8th Annual Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop. They are looking for volunteers of all ages to help give away toys and help assist with wrapping! http://www.dollsfordaughters.com/causes/dolls-for-daughters-toy-shop/

 

share the loveHelp us make a difference by donating a new toy for a boy or girl ages birth to 18 at any of the @Dolls For Daughters drop off locations or make a monetary donation to help purchase more toys! http://www.dollsfordaughters.com/donate

 


Twitter posts

share the loveHelp @Dolls4Daughter stuff the stockings for children in need. #stuffthestockings bit.ly/1EamimE

 

 

share the loveDonate toys for boys this holiday season to @Dolls4Daughter.  #toysforboys bit.ly/1EamimE

 

 

share the loveMake a difference, donate today to help a child in need.#DFDtoydrive bit.ly/1EamimE

 

 

share the loveYou can be the difference, donate a toy for a child in need.#DFDtoydrive bit.ly/1EamimE

 

 

share the loveWant to make a difference this holiday season? Donate toys to @Dolls4Daughters #DFDtoydrive bit.ly/1EamimE

 

 

share the loveWant to do something special for the holidays? Help @Dolls4Daughters provide gifts for underprivileged kids at #DFDtoydrive bit.ly/1EamimE

 

 

share the love@Dolls4Daughters is taking toy donations through December 2. Help us provide toys to underprivileged kids.#DFDtoydrive bit.ly/1EamimE

 

 

share the loveCome help us celebrate the holiday spirit; donate toys to @Dolls4Daughters .#DFDtoydrive bit.ly/1Eamim

 

 


Drop Off Locations Post

We are an official drop off location for the @Dolls for Daughters Annual Toy Drive. Bring in NEW dolls and NEW toys for boys and girls ages birth to 18. Our goal each year is to collect at least 1,000 new dolls and at least 5,000 new toys for boys and girls.

 

 


Sample Email to share your support.

Dear Friends/Coworkers/Team,

I am reaching out to you to let you know that [I am/we are/Company Name is] participating in the Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Drive to help more than 10,000 children in our community have gifts this holiday season.

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

Last year Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys provided a new toy and more to 5,269 needs to be 8,983 children in Colorado. Their annual Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop, held the first Saturday in December, provided a new toy, stocking, stocking stuffer, books and toothbrush/toothpaste kit to 3,326 needs to be 4,609 children who would have otherwise gone without. 83% of the families they served in 2014 needs to be 2016 had a household income of $20,000 or less a year.

I am/we are excited to partner with them to help collect new toys for boys and girls until December 2nd. They accept any NEW toy for boys and girls ages birth to 18 with the exception Legos (they currently have thousands in storage). Please help us support this local charity by donating new toys.

Gift Ideas

• Soccer Balls
• Footballs
• Dolls
• Trucks
• Coloring books
• Crayons
• Nail Polish
• Make-up for Kids
• Watches for teens
• Skateboards
• Puzzles
• Toddler & Infant Toys

It takes the resources and collective hearts of many and it takes support from wonderful people like you to carry out their mission to support underprivileged children and their families in Colorado by providing toys, food and more during the holidays.

You can drop off your donations at:
Or contact ___________________ directly with more info.

Thank you for taking time to read this letter and for considering supporting us in providing even more children with these special gifts.
[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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