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  • Writer's pictureToni Cox

2020 Newsletter

"The most rewarding blessing that one can recieve is to give"

As Let’s PLANet Giving (LPG) begins a fresh new year we would like to take the opportunity to express our sincere gratitude for your generosity as well as wish you excellent health, joy and happiness in the new year ahead!

We are truly blessed by the support we have received from our community of businesses, family, and friends from near and far!

It has been quite a busy and difficult year for so many and we were honored and humbled to be able to help some of those who have been struggling during this pandemic.

Our dedicated team of volunteers started off 2020 planning Berthoud’s 10th annual A. Day Of Kindness (ADOK) - led by Dave and Julia Sabados in memory of their son, Alex Sabados. Alex’s favorite things included being a jokester and spreading kindness to everyone he met. In spite of having to quickly switch to a virtual event this spring, we came together as a village of kind people to spread childhood cancer awareness as well as kindness throughout our community.

LPG’s amazing team of volunteers worked diligently to coordinate a 5K walk/run, Kindness Village of vendors providing crafts, activities, and swag for A. Day of Kindness attendees, and a toy drive for children in treatment in the Oncology Department at Children’s Hospital. For many years ADOK has been a fun day for all with live music, food trucks, hot air balloons and numerous other activities including an Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by New Freedom Outreach Center. And then Covid hit! Undaunted, our amazing team quickly adapted - determined to spread kindness and childhood cancer awareness virtually this year through a series of community building online activities. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19 our online 5K and FaceBook kindness campaign raised over $1,600.00 for Children Hospital Colorado Oncology Department.

As many Berthoud businesses faced increasing hardship resulting from Covid-19 restrictions LPG partnered with David and Stephanie Gregg of Prairie Star Homes, Gail Schumacher and May Soricelli to create the “It takes a Village” program. This program provided much needed financial assistance to twelve local small businesses struggling to pay utilities, staff, and other expenses.

In May, we did our second A-to-Z bedroom makeover for a sweet little boy named Jayce. Jayce is a very active and loving four-year-old little boy battling a very rare cancer along with VIP. His dream was to have a dinosaur/jungle themed bedroom … many generous donors and the tireless work of our Board of Directors provided the resources to create an imaginative and comfortable space for Jayce as well as some fun surprises for his parents and five siblings.

In November our third A-to-Z bedroom makeover took place. A multi-talented nine-year-old girl named Juno who was diagnosed with cancer in December 2019 was nominated to have her room transformed into a purple/unicorn oasis. Juno had spent most of the past year in the hospital enduring multiple surgeries and aggressive treatments. Her dream is to have a YouTube recording studio where she can share stories and inspiration with other young cancer warriors.

As always, December was quite a busy month for LPG!

We started the month with our annual “Homeless Blessing Bags” project led by Suzanne Doles. With the incredible support of United Way, Bombas socks, New Freedom Outreach Center, and our many awesome volunteers we were able to assemble and distribute 140 homeless blessing bags. These bags were filled to the rim with blankets, hats, toiletries, hot hand and feet warmers, socks, community resource information, bibles and lots of treats and beverages!

We have been doing this for several years and are always amazed at the joy that these bags bring to people. We have had endless stories and how well received these were. It definitely puts life into perspective and how and why it is so important to give back and help those that are struggling.

Following this was our Foster Care Christmas gift mission led by Toni Cox. Working alongside Foster and Adoptive Families of Larimer County, we were able to provide over 100 gifts personally selected for local children from their Christmas Wish lists. Something that affected us all very heavily was that several of these children had a bath towel and socks and their wish list. Small items that many of us take for granted every day, like having a bath towel of your own, mean a great deal to these children. With the awesome support of Toys for Tots, United Way, New freedom Outreach Center, Collective Goods, The Whisper Works: Family of Love, Bombas socks and numerous community businesses, families, friends, and neighbors from near and far we were able to make sure that every child had the gifts they wished for under the tree this year!

December 15 was suicide/mental health awareness day for LPG. This annual Campaign is led by Kelly Dunkelberger to spread awareness of the warning signs and symptoms most often displayed by those suffering from depression or contemplating suicide. Kelly and her team of baking ninjas baked, decorated and delivered 700 cupcakes to local residents and businesses along with information about resources for anyone battling this “silent killer” that continues to grow at an alarming rate.

LPG wrapped up a year of giving on December 27th with our fourth bedroom makeover - for an inspiring 18-year-old young man named Josiah who is courageously facing cancer for the third time. Josiah hoped for a cool space with a surround sound system, playstation, desk and laptop, purple walls and black furniture. Once again, donations poured in from many sources and we were able to transform Josiah’s room as well as provide an upholstery replacement kit for the Mazda Miata he enjoys working on and private chef experience for the whole family. Incredibly, the thing that lifted Josiah’s spirits most was the knowledge that there are many people in the community thinking about, praying for, and supporting him.

Without the support, love and blessings we continue to receive from all of you none of these missions to provide assistance to those in need in our community would be possible.

As we begin another year a huge thank you goes out to our Let’s PLANet Giving team, UPS Grant Foundation, Hometown Liquors, the Blackbaud Giving Fund, Walmart Distribution Center, American Furniture Warehouse, Mission Homes, Berthoud Builders, Woodleys Furniture, FreeLance Dog Training, Costco, Home Depot, Franklin Loan Center, Maggi Real Estate, Energy Logic, Majestic Sky, Prarie Star Homes, Berthoud Chamber of Commerce, Bombas, Collective Goods, United Way, Scheels Sporting Goods, Hays Market, Amazon Smile, Avago, The Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, Toys for Tots, Briggs Carpet Cleaning, Thrivent Financial, Medtronic, and numerous individual donors.

Never underestimate what the power of perseverance can do when coupled with support. We are so proud of our team, our community, businesses, volunteers, and donors for all of the incredible support we have received! Thank you for all that you do to help us bless others who are struggling in our community.

May you all have a very healthy, hopeful and happy year ahead filled with endless blessings!

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