Kudos and kindness | AspenTimes.com

Kudos and kindness

Let’s help the homeless

We are seventh-graders from Basalt Middle School and we think there is a problem in our community. We have come to realize there are many homeless people in Basalt, and the only homeless shelters are in Glenwood and Aspen. We think that we should have a homeless shelter in Basalt. It would really change and have a positive impact on our community to have a homeless shelter. People would not have to travel and take the Roaring Fork Transit Authority elsewhere to sleep at night.

As only seventh-graders, we see a lot of homelessness in Basalt. A homeless person can be someone who lost their jobs, a runaway child, someone with drug or alcohol addiction or mental illness. We need to go around the community and see what the majority of the homeless people need. We need to reach out to them and ask them how we can help them.

We had Lynn Kirchner from Amore Reality come to our class to speak to us about the homeless and how we might help. She explained what her group in Carbondale is doing to help people. They created a resource guide for the homeless that provides them with much-needed information on where to find help. This resource guide can be used in Basalt as well. They also sponsor a community meal on the first and third Saturday of every month in Carbondale at Faith Lutheran Church, located on Highway 133 across from Wells Fargo Bank from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In addition to serving a great meal and giving out to-go boxes of food, what they have volunteers do is think of things they might need and make up baggies of things to hand out, like City Market cards for food, or fast-food cards or bus cards or things like toothbrushes and toothpaste. All kinds of people and their kids volunteer to help and the homeless get to feel part of the community. Even if you don’t go to that event, there are things you can do to help; like if you have leftovers and don’t know what to do with them, give them to the guy you saw on the side of the street saying he was hungry. If you want to help a little bit more, you can volunteer at local shelters or organizations. If you want to know more about the homeless in Basalt and our valley you can contact Lynn and she will give you information. We seventh-graders want to help these people in their unfortunate situation and hope you will too.

Gage Reuss, Rishard Medrano, Cristina Martinez and Sekar Wikan

On behalf of the seventh-graders at Basalt Middle School

Ride high with Lift-Up

Lift-Up, our local food bank that serves the roaring fork valley and beyond, has joined Above It All Balloon Co., our local hot-air balloon-ride company in Aspen-Snowmass, to offer a hot air balloon festival to the midvalley area!

This year marks Lift-Up’s 35th anniversary, so what better way to thank the community for supporting those in need for all of these years than to lift up the spirits of all of us together? Lift Off 4 Lift-Up Balloon Festival will be an annual event to bring funds and awareness to Lift-Up while providing the local community with a celebration event of hot air balloons and family fun. This event is happening at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel on June 24 and 25.

We will have 15 balloons flying both mornings with a beautiful night glow and live music Saturday evening. All balloon activities are dependent on the weather; the organizers and pilots reserve the right to cancel if it is not safe to fly.

We are asking the community to join together to sponsor and attend the event to support Lift-Up in their continued efforts to make a difference to those in need in our valley. We are looking for sponsors, and some levels include a balloon ride during the event!

Please contact Pam at 970-379-3591, liftoff4liftup@gmail.com or Lift-Up at 970-625-4496, http://www.liftup.org, if you are interested in sponsoring the event. You can visit our website at http://www.liftoff4liftupballoonfestival.org for more information or search for our facebook page! We are so excited to have the support of Crown Mountain Park, Lift-Up, and Above It All Balloon Co. to build a wonderful event that will bring joy to locals and visitors alike. Mark your calendar, June 24 and 25 for the first annual Lift Off 4 Lift-Up Balloon Festival.

We want to thank the many people, businesses and organizations that have supported Lift-Up for 35 years with our own Lift Off 4 Lift-Up Balloon Festival. This will be an annual event that will grow each year helping Lift-Up and other nonprofits raise awareness and funds! We look forward to seeing you there!

Pam and Bruce Wood


Giving hope to Aspen Hope Center

This letter has taken me some time to write as finding the words has been difficult. “Thank you” seems shallow and ill-suited for the act that M-Salon took to show their appreciation for the Aspen Hope Center’s work in mental health in the valley. On March 8, Marcy DiSalvo asked for a moment of “mic time” during our pre-show event at the Caribou Club. With her time in front of the crowd, she presented the Hope Center with a $10,000 check. The mixed feeling of shock, honor and amazement was overwhelming. I am a therapist and crisis clinician, hence, not often moved to tears. This was a moment that changed that. She then went on to speak about how this came about, how she was moved to do something for others.

One year ago, she presented her idea to her team and told them she was going to put aside $5 of every service she provided in a “pot” for the Hope Center. Her team immediately jumped on board and decided to do the same. John Sisson, Jordan Brodersen, Kelly Warner and Lisa Fortier, along with Marcy, all silently tucked away $5 from each service. This money came from their own pockets and went to a cause they believed in. One year later, they discovered they had squirreled away $10,000. For most people, $5 is nothing in the grand scheme of life; but when $5 is combined with more $5, suddenly it adds up and it becomes a monumental gift to a nonprofit like the Hope Center.

In addition to having a passion for helping the community, Marcy happens to be married to Sheriff Joe DiSalvo, who sees day in and day out how the Hope Center assists his deputies and the community at large. We do not need to have a mental health diagnosis to endure a life struggle — we all have them. Like many nonprofits, the Aspen Hope Center lives day to day on donations, grants and events to stay afloat. The $5, $10 and $50 donations are just as vital to us as the $25,000 and $50,000. As a community united, we can move mountains!

Billy, Jen, Louie and the Caribou Club staff, we thank you for making that night wonderful, and Marcy, Kelly, John, Jordan and Lisa, our gratitude is more than words can express! Your efforts have allowed us make a difference in the lives of community members whom we have helped and that has no monetary value.

With much love and appreciation,

The Aspen Hope Center staff, board of directors and

Michelle Muething

Executive director, Aspen Hope Center

One satisfied customer

In this day and age of large corporations, chain businesses and mass production, it is a joy to find excellent, personal, customer service. Recently I took my horse trailer and truck to Keith Williams at Valley Collision in the Basalt Trade Center to look at a difficult problem that required extra attention to solve. The rear door trailer latches were pulling out of the doors. To keep the doors open when loading a horse by yourself, you need these latches.

I wanted to secure the bolts on both sides of the door so there was no chance of them pulling out, but there could be no roughness on the inside for horse safety.

Keith said that he would invent devise something that would work. Several days later he called and said he had decided what to do and gave me a price for repair.

The fancy trim pieces were starting to peel off my truck and he said bring it by and he would fix that, too.

When I picked up my truck and trailer, both looked like new, the bill was very reasonable and he even helped me hook the truck to my trailer. I appreciated Keith’s positive, helpful, friendly attitude, and wanted to thank him publicly.

Now that’s what I call “customer service.”

Holly McLain