Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Jan. 12, 2020) | AspenTimes.com

Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Jan. 12, 2020)

New Year’s a chance to join The Buddy Program

I’ve been thinking about a resolution for the new year, and here’s what I’ve decided: (1) Be more positive, (2) Be more generous, and (3) Be more disciplined. These goals can cover a variety of areas of my life (health, friendships, work) but they also can affect others in a profound way, including one friend in particular.

I’ve been a Big Buddy for 5 years and these aspirations can be a model for my Little Buddy. She and I try to get together 3 or 4 times each month to have an adventure or a meal or just a chat. As a Big Buddy, I’m her friend, confidante, encourager-in-chief and her biggest cheerleader. (Couldn’t we all benefit from one of those?) There’s no agenda when we spend time together, just two friends supporting each other … and I think the world could use a little bit more of that. There are more than 30 youth in Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale who are waiting for someone to be their Big Buddy and the majority of them live in the mid-valley. This year it could be you. January is National Mentoring Month and it’s a great time to pursue a resolution that gives to you and another. I want to encourage the community to contact the Buddy Program to learn more. If not now, then when and if not you, then who?

Laura Seay


Joy West is the best

It is refreshing and intriguing to observe Joy West, a local entrepreneur, willing to continually put her own skin in the game. Clearly Joy is the best in the West. Keep ‘em coming, Ms. West.

Michael G. Rosenberg

El Jebel

Holiday Baskets full of thanks

The Holiday Baskets Program, a totally volunteer project, was once again a joyful community effort. For 38 years this program has provided new gifts, toys and food for those in need in our valley from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. This year we served 257 families (980 individuals). People are referred to the program by 10 social service agencies and are then ”adopted” by individuals, the faith community, businesses, city and county employees, schools and other groups.

There are always more families in need than are adopted. The gifts for these families are contributed by people who choose a gift tag and then purchase the requested gift. All these gifts are gathered at the Aspen Chapel where they are sorted and wrapped for individual families. Each family member also receives a generous City Market food gift card.

The response this year was particularly generous with many individuals and groups participating for the first time as well as a record number of people adopting families. We received wonderful donations of toys, clothing, money, and gift cards as well as incredible volunteer hours. There was lots of energetic help on our three Volunteer Wrap Days! We are grateful for grants from the Thrift Shop of Aspen, The Aspen Elks Lodge, The Aspen Rotary Club, the Martens Foundation and the Aspen Chapel Gallery.

While it is not possible to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the program (we had over 350 volunteers!), there are several who deserve special recognition. Elaine Bonds, Marsha Cook, Kathy Dreher, Elizabeth Parker, and Bobbi Teliska spent many, many hours and lots of energy matching families with Adopting Angels and making sure all the gifts were ready on pick up day. We are also extremely grateful to St. Peter’s Church in Basalt for providing space in which to coordinate and distribute the thousands of gifts.

It was heartwarming to observe so many people in our valley participating in this project with such love and generosity. Please visit our website holidaybasketsprogram.com. Monetary donations are always welcome! PO Box 2192, Basalt, CO 81621

Anne Blackwell

Chairperson, Holiday Baskets