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November 16, 2017

Holiday Donations Sought by County Programs Serving Neighbors in Need

Boulder County Holiday Giving Programs Offer Opportunities to Help Low-Income Families and Children

Boulder County, Colo. - Community holiday giving programs are seeking donations to help ensure as many children and families as possible can share in the joy of the season this year. The Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services (HHS) offers four options for anyone who wants to help.

The Family to Family Program (F2F) Holiday Program is seeking donations to help parents and caregivers give gifts to their children and others in need. Now in its 43rd year, F2F serves the most vulnerable financially struggling families and
individuals in the Child Protection, Foster Care, Adolescent and Adult Protection (later life and disabled adults) and basic needs programs. Family to Family provides gift cards for parents and caregivers to shop for and choose the presents themselves. This approach reflects HHS’ focus on giving families the primary voice in decisions that affect their lives.

“Every child should have the joy that comes with the holidays, and every parent should have the chance to make their child’s eyes
light up by providing it,” said Deborah Ramirez, HHS Volunteer Office Program Coordinator. “Boulder County’s holiday giving programs are one way we can all help make that happen.”

Last year, Family to Family served 409 families with gift cards averaging $50 per person. For some parents and caregivers, presents purchased through Family to Family gift cards are the only ones they’re able to give their children for the holidays.

“I have been a single grandmother raising my five year old granddaughter since she was born,” one Family to Family gift card
recipient wrote to an anonymous donor. “I am recently unemployed, and this donation makes sure my little angel has a Merry Christmas and that Santa will surprise her with something very special this year. Know that your kindness and
generosity have been a huge blessing to our family.”
In 2016, a parent wrote, “My kids have been through so much this year. Now that they will have something for Christmas, you have kept a smile on their faces and Christmas from being a sad day.”

A 2016 donor wrote, “Each holiday season we as a family give to the Family-To-Family Holiday Program. We do this instead of
giving gifts to each other. The holidays are a time for family and now that we are grown we understand this even more, but want other families with small kids to enjoy opening gifts that they might not have gotten if not for this great

Giving through the Family to Family Program is easy. Online donations can be made at
Additional information is also available there or by contacting Debbie Ramirez at 303-441-1430 or

Other holiday gift-giving opportunities include Family Self-Sufficiency’s Holiday Gift Sponsor Program, which serves Boulder County families in the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program who are working to gain education and skills to help them achieve higher-wage jobs and better living situations for their families. For the holidays, the highest-need FSS families submit a “wish list”
from which sponsors can shop. Donors spend a minimum of $30 and a maximum of $100 for each person in the family. Sponsors purchase items on the list, or donors can give a cash donation or gift card (grocery stores, discount retail stores) to help with groceries and basic household needs. Cash donations can also help families throughout the year. In 2016, the FSS Holiday Gift Program helped 89 families in Boulder County, including 158 children and 105 parents, enjoy the holidays. To sponsor or make a donation for an FSS family, contact Katie Frye at 303-441-3923 or

The HHS Senior Services Program seeks donations of gift cards to local grocery stores or discount retail stores to help offset the costs of medications and high medical expenses. The program provides supports for older adults who are tenants in permanently-affordable homes. Low- and fixed-income seniors often face the reality of having to choose between covering medical expenses and buying groceries or meeting other basic needs. Gifts given through this program go a long way toward helping them make ends meet during the holidays. To make a donation, contact Kris Durso at 303-519-7152 or

The Casa de la Esperanza Learning Center is seeking donations of school supplies, winter clothing, grocery gift cards, and presents for children in the program. Casa de la Esperanza in Longmont provides academic support and enrichment opportunities for 44 families of seasonal workers employed in the local dairies farms, and greenhouses. As the growing season comes to a close in the cold months just before the holidays, Casa de la Esperanza families face deeper economic difficulties and must endure winter on a very tight budget. To help, contact Vanessa Escarcega at 303-678-6220 or

Casa de la Esperanza 2016 Christmas party

Casa de la Esperanza 2016 Christmas party

Family Self-Sufficiency Holiday Gift Program wrapped presents and gifts donated by generous families and individuals await delivery to FSS families

Wrapped presents and gifts donated by generous families and individuals to the Family Self-Sufficiency Holiday Gift Program await delivery to grateful recipients.