Former Aggie LB Von Miller honored by NFL for charitable work

Denver Broncos and former Texas A&M defensive end Von Miller was the NFL Players’ Association’s Week 17 Community MVP for donating 2,013 eyeglass frames to youth in need through the Anchor Center for Blind Children in Denver.

The donation is part of the former A&M All-American’s Von’s Vision foundation, which provides low-income Denver children with eye care and corrective eyewear.

Miller’s donation, which equated to a $503,250 contribution, was one of many charitable contributions he made last year. He also raised nearly $400,000 at his annual Celebrity Steak-Out dinner. Miller launched Von’s Vision All Year Long in September, committing more than $1 million worth of frames to in-need Denver children over the next two years. In 2017, Miller provided free eye care to 3,278 Denver students, bringing the total to more than 5,000 kids impacted since he founded Von’s Vision five years ago.

For Miller being named a Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to his foundation or charity of choice along with an in-kind donation to him on behalf of Delta Private Jets.

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Millennials Give More Generously To Charity, Study Says

CBS Local — Just in time for the holiday season, a new report from the United Kingdom says young adults are not only more generous when giving to charity, but are also savvier and more careful with their money when donating.

Researchers from the British government’s Charity Commission found that 18 to 24-year-olds made an average donation of nearly $42 during the Christmas season. 44 percent of millennials surveyed also said they would give up using their smartphone in December if it would raise money for their favorite charity. Only a third of all other age groups made the same pledge.

“I’m particularly pleased that young people give generously, but also that they are more likely to make basic checks before giving to their chosen charity than people from their parents’ generation,” the Charity Commission’s Helen Stephenson said in the group’s report.

Younger adults proved to be much more selective with their money, with over half of millennials polled saying they did a basic check of the charity’s record and financial transparency before making a donation. That number fell to just 29 percent among seniors 75 and older.

“It’s important for donors to remember that they are entitled to know what their donations are being used for and to consent (or not) to the ways in which their personal data will be used,” Stephen Dunmore of the charity watchdog group Fundraising Regulator said.

In the United States, the Better Business Bureau urges holiday donors to make a thorough check of a charity’s website for information on its mission and latest financial reports before giving.

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Broken cellphone? Phone companies, charities will still accept your “gift”

Q: I have an inexpensive, near-new Nokia phone that got the SIM card holder damaged and I want to get rid of it, free. How do I donate it to get it fixed and distributed? —John Mortensen, Aurora

Tech+ What? Nokia still makes phones? Ahhh yes. Microsoft sold off its Nokia assets to newbie Finland-based HMD Global last year and HMD relaunched Nokia phones, including the classic push-button candy bar phone.

Nokia does offer repair services for its phones running Android software, but that probably will cost you. There are also repair shops, like uBreakiFix, which has a plethora of stores in the Denver area (find shops at ubreakifix.com/locations) and will take a look for free to see if it’s repairable. I made a quick call to customer service for John and uBreakiFix’s support staff said if the SIM card is just jammed, the store may fix it for free. But if further work is necessary, prices start at $49.99. If you don’t want to go there, the store will also recycle the phone for free.

If you’re looking for something in return, you may have luck with either trading in the phone for an upgrade, or just getting back cold hard cash. EcoATM kiosks, which are found at some area King Soopers and Walmart’s, analyzes the phone in the store and pays you immediately. Gazelle.com pays cash for old phones, or you can buy one from its site.

Trade-in site Decluttr.com pays more for devices in good condition; even an iPhone 6 in “faulty” condition can score the owner $63.60, according the site. But make sure you read the FAQ’s, which do mention that some items are rejected “due to damage.”

As for a broken SIM holder? Decluttr’s chief marketing officer Liam Howley responded with this: “At Decluttr, this isn’t classed as faulty and we would pay the customer the full value of the phone, as replacing a broken SIM card holder is part of the refurbishment process at the company.”

Howley said that while Decluttr does accept faulty-condition phones, the device is checked by the company’s quality team and in some cases, it may be devalued if additional faults are found.

“If the item is revalued, the customer will have the option to accept the price or have the item sent back to them for free,” he said.

There are also the typical retailers offering the service. Best Buy doesn’t charge for old mobile phones for recycling, but it’s limited to three per household. Staples office stores also will either accept your phone for recycling (for free) or give you money for it. Check out its donation program at dpo.st/staplesrecycling and its trade-in program at tradein.staples.com.

Several places will accept cellphones and electronic device donations that benefit a charity:

Cell Phones for Soldiers, at cellphonesforsoldiers.com. The organization is known for providing free talk time to soldiers and it doesn’t discriminate! It accepts broken or cracked phones. Find a drop off location at the organization’s site. AT&T supports the same military program. On its trade-in site, at tradein.att.com, people can check the trade-in value of their phone and either get AT&T credit or choose to donate it to Cell Phones for Soldiers. Sprint accepts all old smartphones and devices at its stores and donates them to low-income students through the 1Million Project. The charity also accepts cash via 1millionproject.org. Verizon accepts no-longer used phones, batteries, chargers and accessories in any condition as part of its HopeLine project that benefits victims of domestic violence. Drop the phone off at the HopeLine bin inside Verizon stores. More details at verizon.com/hopeline. And fa-la-la, T-Mobile is running its own charitable holiday special. Between now and Dec. 31, the company is accepting old phones and tablets at all T-Mobile stores. The company will also match the value of the device (after costs) and donate everything to Feeding America and Team Rubicon. At minimum, T-Mobile said it will donate $1 million, split evenly between the two charities Lastly, check with your favorite charity because they may accept old phones and other devices that they will either put to good use or recycle.

Don’t forget, if you’re donating a cellphone, tablet, computer or other device that may have some private data on it, wipe that drive. Some tips are in these old Tech+ Q&As, which can be found at dpo.st/mailbag: Wiping smartphones, fighting malware and Sprint’s new mobile security service or When recycling a computer, wipe the hard drive with tools that do more than just delete sensitive files.

Miss a week? Then subscribe to the new weekly Tech+ newsletter to get this week’s question and more delivered to your inbox. Sign up, see past Tech+ answers or ask your own tech question at dpo.st/mailbag. If you’re emailing your question, please add “Mailbag” to the subject line.

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Christmas cash for the homeless: The legacy of one Denver priest continues

Denver, Colo., Dec 14, 2017 / 04:51 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- It was a chilly Thursday in December, with a dusting of snow on the ground. But that didn’t stop hundreds of poor and homeless people from packing the Denver Cathedral for what the pastor calls “the greatest day of the year” for the parish.

It was the Father Woody Christmas cash giveaway, the annual event when the cathedral hosts a prayer service and gives $20 – in the form of two $10 bills – to all of the poor and the homeless who attend.

The idea behind the two bills? It gives the recipients the option of giving one of the bills away.

“I got kind of a crabby e-mail about this event, saying ‘Why are you giving the homeless money, they’re just going to spend it on alcohol or drugs,’” Fr. Ron Cattany, pastor of the Cathedral Basilica of Immaculate Conception in Denver, told CNA.

“And I responded back with a line from Father Woody: ‘Everybody needs a little cash in their pocket at Christmas,’” he said.

It gives them a sense of dignity, and a sense of generosity, he added.

“What’s beautiful is that sometimes what you’ll see here…is one of the guys will come up and say, ‘Today’s my birthday, will you give me a bunch of (McDonald’s) cards so I can take my buddies out to lunch on my birthday?’ And of course you do that because even from where they are, they’re giving and sharing with other people,” Cattany said.

The event all started 28 years ago, when an endowment fund was set up in honor and in the spirit of Monsignor Charles B. Woodrich – better known as Fr. Woody – a Denver priest renowned for his generous spirit and can-do attitude.

During his time as a priest, he established school lunch programs for poor children, opened up the doors of his parish to the homeless during cold winter nights (most famously during the blizzard of ‘82), and would routinely give his friends on the street the coats off his back and the cash in his pockets. Today, the name Father Woody is synonymous with charity in the Denver community.

The attendees of the Father Woody giveaway often line up outside the cathedral for hours before the event begins.

On Thursday, they filled the pews to standing room only, and attended a prayer service before receiving their cash, along with hugs and greetings of ‘Merry Christmas’ from numerous volunteers from the Christ in the City program, Regis University’s Father Woody program, and several other groups and private volunteers.

“It’s so cool to be here with so many people who experience homelessness, and so many of them we can call our friends, and to know that God loves them the same and that they are so welcome here,” Emma Rashilla, a missionary with Christ in the City, told CNA.

“These are the people who are usually on the outside looking in, and now they’re on the inside, and it doesn’t matter if they’re Catholic or Christian,” or have no faith, all are welcome, Fr. Cattany added.

After they receive their money and McDonald’s gift cards, hot chocolate, new socks and homemade hats are waiting for them outside.

“It shows the real meaning of giving, of sharing gifts and showing your emotional and spiritual awareness of the real reason for Christmas which is that Christ is born that day,” Kevin, one of the attendees, told CNA.

“When you don’t have much to give, you don’t feel so jolly, but when someone gives you something, it makes you feel more generous,” he added.

“It’s people getting together and seeing old friends, (I feel) highly favored and blessed,” said Wilma, another attendee.

Odalis Hernandez, a senior at Regis University who was helping hand out colorful, homemade knit hats from the students in the university’s Father Woody program, said she was inspired to start helping people after seeing a movie about Fr. Woody.

“It’s something that I wouldn’t have done without the inspiration of someone like that,” she said.

Lovey Shipp, a spunky nonagenarian who worked as Father Woody’s secretary for several years before he passed away in 1991, still cherishes the many “Father Woody-isms” that she remembers. She has participated in every cash giveaway since its official beginning 28 years ago.

“Father Woody used to say, ‘service is the rent you pay for the space you take up,’” she told CNA.

“He taught people with money how to give. It’s not yours, it’s by God’s grace that you have it, you could be one of the homeless if he saw fit to do so,” she said.

She encouraged anyone who desires to help the homeless this season to “keep an open mind and have your heart match. That’s what Father Woody did.”

“Just give,” she added. “Give from the heart. And smile!”

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Colorado Gives Day 2017: Donors give record $36.1M to charity

DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL – The eighth annual Colorado Gives Day online charity fund drive is in the books, and the state’s nonprofits are $36,129,285 better off because of it.

That’s the fundraising total for Tuesday’s 24-hour donation appeal, topping the previous record of $33.8 million set last year, according to the organizer, the Arvada-based Community First Foundation.

The $36.1 million is more than four times the $8.4 million raised in 2010, the event’s first year.

This year, the money came from 153,055 individual donations (up from 145,763 last year) ranging from $10 to $1 million, the foundation said in today’s announcement. (The $1 million was given to the Schlessman Family YMCA in Denver’s University Hills area.)

Read more at the Denver Business Journal: http://bit.ly/2B5qbQK

Copyright 2017 Denver Business Journal

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Finding The Best Charity Denver Option

Giving back is something that many people desire to do. And there are many reasons why so many people choose to give of their time and resources. Sometimes those who choose to give were recipients in their lives at one time or another. Other times, people choose to give because they feel led to do so. There are also many other reasons people choose to find the charity Denver option that is best for them. If you are looking for a charity to support in the Denver area, you will want to consider your wants and desires. Continue reading for tips you can use when you are looking to find the option that works best for you.

First of all, you should consider what type of Denver charity is close to your heart. Is there a certain type of giving opportunity you are most interested in? Do you want to help children in the area? Do you want to help with the research of a condition or disease? Or is there something else that you are interested in? This can help lead you to finding the charity that you may want to be a part of.

Then, you can decide what you want to give as far as the charity is concerned. Do you want to give your time and volunteer with a particular group? Or do you want to give a monetary donation? If this is your choice, do you want to give a one time donation or do you want to do something that is ongoing?

As you can see, there are different things to consider when you are looking to be a part of a charity in Denver. Use the information shared here to help you decide where you want to give of your time and resources.

‘Giving Tuesday:’ What you should know before you donate

DENVER — Tuesday marks the day called “Giving Tuesday.” It’s a day to give to charity after spending money on “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.”

America is a charitable nation. In fact, Americans gave a $390 billion to charitable organizations last year — but not all of that money went to reputable groups.

“Most people scammed through charity donation don’t realize they’ve given to a phony charity or they don’t report it,” said Krista Ferndelli with the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB warns people to watch for the following warning signs before donating:

Ask questions. Legit charities will tell you how the organization uses its funds. Reputable charities will tell its donors where the money goes. Verify if the charity really exists. You don’t have to give someone money immediately. A real charity won’t pressure you.

If you wonder how far your donated dollars can go, websites like Give.org and Charitynavigator.org can tell you.

The American Red Cross, Direct Relief and Samaritan’s Purse are the top three most searched charities right now, according to Charitynavigator.org.

The American Red Cross spends 91 cents on humanitarian relief for every dollar it gets.

The Samaritan’s Purse — which is an organization helping victims of war, poverty and disease — puts 87 percent of its money donated toward aid.

Direct Relief, another humanitarian charity, puts 99 percent of its donations toward relief.

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Denver charity front and center with President Trump in Vietnam

Timothy Davis, right, shakes hands with President Trump Friday in Da Nang, Vietnam. Davis runs a Denver-based charity that honors veterans. He arranged the visit between the President and seven Vietnam War veterans.

DA NANG, Vietnam — “You have done a fantastic job. I appreciate it.”

Those were the words of President Donald Trump on Friday as he pointed to Timothy Davis of Denver.

Davis runs the nonprofit The Greatest Generations Foundation.

For more than a decade, the foundation has returned veterans to the battlefields where they served, all around the world.

In recent months, Davis has focused on Vietnam veterans. And that’s what led to Friday’s meeting with the president in Vietnam.

Davis brought seven veterans of the Vietnam War to Da Nang, where President Trump is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.

The White House worked with the foundation to organize the event, to honor the men for Veterans Day.

“You are the heroes who fulfill your duty to our nation. And each of you, under the most difficult conditions, did what you had to do, and you did it well,” Trump said.

“They are definitely tough, smart cookies. We like them.”

The president also signed a proclamation commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Afterward, he handed the proclamation to Davis.

“It was a privilege to meet with the president,” Davis said. “He is very supportive of the work we’ve been doing at The Greatest Generations Foundation to honor our veterans.”

The veterans took the opportunity to praise the commander-in-chief.

“From my heart, thank you for your support of the military, and it’s an honor to be here as one of seven Vietnam veterans representing the 58,000 heroes who never made it home,” said Max Morgan, a Vietnam veteran from Santa Clarita, California.

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Marisol Homes wants to be the last shelter a family ever needs

Children play in the playground at Marisol Homes on Oct. 30, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Marisol Homes is a shelter for women and children, 90% of whom are survivors of domestic violence. The program’s goal is to help the women achieve financial and housing stability while staying at one of four houses Marisol manages.

In the past year, Marisa and her four children have bounced from a family member’s home to a shelter to a motel to another shelter and, finally, to Marisol Homes.

The family soon will move into a furnished apartment and have money in the bank after living since February at a Marisol Home in Lakewood.

“At first, I was nervous because nobody wants to be in this situation,” said Marisa, whose name is being withheld by The Denver Post because of safety concerns for her family. “They’re really supportive, and if I had any issues, somebody was there to talk to.”

The Marisol Homes program is part of Catholic Charities of Denver, and the four homes it manages provide temporary housing to homeless mothers, many of whom are survivors of domestic violence, and their young children. The program operates on a $1 million annual budget.

The homes are much more than temporary shelters, program director Amy Eurek said. Marisol’s staff guides the women toward financial and housing stability and then supports them with an alumni group once they are living on their own.

“We meet our families where they are,” Eurek said. “Our caseloads are really small, so we can go deep, go big.”

The counselors discuss everything from spending habits to social influences to credit scores with the women. The residents must follow house rules, including curfews, sharing chores and abstaining from drugs and alcohol. And the women are required to save 90 percent of their income after paying for some basic personal expenses.

There is no time limit for a family’s stay at a Marisol home as long as the mother is proving a willingness to work and save and follow the rules. The average stay is about six months, Eurek said.

The program started in 2005 when founders realized most shelters provided short-term relief during a crisis and helped women obtain legal documents and enroll in public assistance, but weren’t equipped to help women focus on long-term stability, Eurek said.

While there is intense support at Marisol, the women must take responsibility for themselves and their children. For example, if they want to run an errand or keep a doctor’s appointment, they can’t just ask a staff member or a fellow resident to watch their children; they must arrange for a sitter. When they are on their own, that support network won’t be around, so they have to learn to manage all aspects of life and parenthood, Eurek said.

“We mimic as much as we can the real world,” she said. “We don’t want to create a utopia or a bubble. In the real world, you have to get up and do something and get things accomplished.”

Marisa said she and her children are ready to make it. She just started a better-paying job as a cook, and she expects to have more than $1,000 in the bank when they leave the Marisol home. The guidance from Marisol forced her to stay on a budget and plan for the future.

“This time around, I was so confused,” she said. “I was so down. I was so stressed. By staying here, it helped me put my foot down and get back in the habit” of creating and sticking to a financial budget.

When a family is ready to leave, Marisol provides furniture for the new apartment and a small cash stipend for household basics such as towels, dishes and cleaning supplies.

“Our end goal is to be the last shelter this family stays at, period,” Eurek said. “Once they move out, that’s it.”

Children, whose names had to be withheld due to security reasons, play in the playground at Marisol Homes on Oct. 30, 2017 in Denver. Marisol Homes is a shelter for women and children, 90% of whom are survivors of domestic violence.
Catholic Charities and Community Services of the Archdiocese of Denver Inc. – Marisol Homes program

Address: Jefferson County
Year it started: 2005
Number of employees: 20
Annual budget: $1 million
Percent of funds that goes directly to client services: 87 percent
Number served last year: 175 people between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017

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Charity Work in Denver

Charity work has always been a major part of my life. I have always been lucky enough to have enough to eat and a safe place to sleep, but I know there are plenty of people out there that can’t take such things for granted. So when I moved to Denver, Colorado, I wasn’t about to let my charity work slide.

I am determined to keep providing help to the people of Denver. Denver, like any major city in the United States, has a sizable population that depends on food banks to supplement or replace their grocery shopping. So the first thing I did was have my husband set up a donation box in his workplace to collect food for local Denver food banks. I have also asked my church to collect donations of food and other essential supplies for families in my neighborhood.

Denver also has, like any major city, a homeless population. I want to volunteer at a local Denver homeless shelter. These locations offer warmth, safety, and food to the people of Denver who have nowhere else to go. I have found no other volunteer opportunity as rewarding as working with homeless families.

Another possible charity work opportunity in Denver is to work with underprivileged children. There are lots of kids around who have a home but whose parents have to work until late in the day to pay the rent and put food on the table. These kids need an adult in their lives who can provide stability and support while their parents and caregivers are at work.

There are lots of opportunities for charity work in the city of Denver, Colorado. People need food, shelter, and childcare, like anywhere else. Volunteering for a charity gives me a chance to help fill those needs.