Kudos and Kindness

Beyond compassionate

This is a love letter to all who helped me on Jan 2. To launch my new year, we came to ski your lovely mountains with local friends Mike and Sheena. Day one on Ajax, I crashed in the bumps and tore my ACL. Within minutes, wheels were in motion to get me down. Sheena called up Mary Sue (ambassador that day), who then called ski patrol.

The care and compassion I received as I was loaded onto the sled made it bearable. They tell me local celebrity Max Taam took me down; all I knew was that Max kept checking if I was comfortable and that my face was snow-free. At the bottom, Max and Mike helped me into Mike’s SUV; Max even got us to laugh as he joked about not being tall enough to help me in.

The compassionate Aspen embrace continued in Aspen Valley Hospital. From the moment I was brought in, I felt the warmth. Everyone I met was genuinely caring, keeping it light as they commented on my purple toenails matching my ski tights. But what I appreciated the most was that I never felt abandoned in the exam room. Every few minutes a smiling face would pop in to make sure I wasn’t totally wigging out and I knew what was happening next.

To all involved in my rescue: Max, Mary Sue, Sheena, Mike and the AVH team on deck that day, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. And to Max Taam, you blew me away with your personal note on my recovery.

Wow, Aspen, you are special!

Pamela Bloom

New Hampshire

My Little Buddy

Over the past four years, I have learned many lessons, but there are some that I never would have learned if it weren’t for my involvement as a Peer-to-Peer Big Buddy in the Buddy Program.

My Little Buddy has taught me the true value of relationships and how much of an impact they have on people’s lives. She was the light that broke the darkness on days when I was upset or not feeling well. I couldn’t have asked for a better cure than to see my Little Buddy smile when she saw me. She makes me feel like a special person in her life, as she is in mine.

Although we met for less than an hour each week at school during lunch, we developed into great friends. By sharing stories and opening up, my Little Buddy showed me that she trusts me, and I therefore trust her with stories about myself. I am beyond honored that I had the opportunity to have my Little Buddy for the past three years. She has been a great friend to me, and if I had a younger sister, I hope that she would be like her.

Being a Big Buddy has helped me grow into the strong and determined person that I am today. Thanks to the Buddy Program, I now feel ready to tackle any obstacles that I may face in college because I have learned how powerful and uplifting relationships can be in times of struggle.

For more information on how you can start a relationship with a youth in need of a mentor, especially in the midvalley and Carbondale, where the need is great, please contact Heather Hicks at 970-920-2130 or

Hailey Thompson


Angels among us

After a long day at work, I returned home to find huge snowbanks blocking my driveway and sidewalks. After I had toiled for an hour and only made a dent, a man in a snowplow pulled up and asked what I was doing. I replied, “Well, I am doing what a lot of us lucky enough to live here are doing, attempting to remove the extra snow!”

He said, “Let me do this for you.” After he finished, I offered to pay him; his response was, “A gift is a gift; please enjoy your evening!”

Thank you, Dan Soderberg, for such an unexpected gift, and yes, I did enjoy my evening thanks to you!

Aspen locals rock!

Kathleen Callahan


The Thrift Shop of Aspen gives back

Every month, members of The Thrift Shop of Aspen meet to continue to accomplish our mission: to give grants to other nonprofit organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley. We are grateful to all the community members who continue to support our efforts by donating and purchasing gently used clothing and household items.

For the month of December, we are pleased to announce the following recipients: Valley Life for All, Red Brick Council for the Arts, Mountain Valley Development Services, Roaring Fork Conservancy, Science in Schools, Hike for Hope, Aspen Junior Golf Foundation, Aspen Chapel Gallery, Andy Zaca Youth Empowerment Project and Response.

Ellen Walbert

PR Committee, Thrift Shop of Aspen