Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Dec. 10, 2017) | AspenTimes.com

Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Dec. 10, 2017)

Heartfelt stories

Last week my husband and I attended “Immigrant Voices” at the wonderful midvalley venue the Temporary theater in Willits. We were moved to tears by the stories and it reminded us how often we know so little of the struggles and joys of our friends and neighbors. We believe stories are so important in building a strong and healthy community and it takes courage to share one’s story in front of so many people (standing-room only crowd).

Thank you to English in Action, Alya Howe, Writ Large and The Arts Campus at Willits for bringing this extraordinary event to our valley. We are grateful to the participants for sharing their fascinating stories.

Patti Stranahan


The power of ‘Immigrant Voices’

I am so grateful to the six storytellers who bravely stood on stage at the Temporary in Willits as part of “Immigrant Voices,” a Project of English in Action, Writ Large and The Arts Campus at Willits. Each storyteller gave us a history lesson that no news story could. Each storyteller painted a picture of sights and sounds, aromas and tastes of the country, friends and family they left behind. Each storyteller told us what it means to call the United States home.

Our valley is home to immigrants from all over the world and they enrich our lives because they have become our friends, neighbors and colleagues. Listening to their stories expands our own perspectives and we are better able to work toward a more inclusive and welcoming community.

Thanks to Alya Howe and TACAW for coaching our storytellers and providing a wonderful space in which to share these journeys. And a huge round of applause for Shinta Damayanti, Berdardina Banuelos, Miguel Carballo, Estela Garcia, Krissy Mace and Samuel Bernal, our courageous storytellers.

Lynn Nichols


Lift-Up ready to help during holiday season

Needless to say, we really, really need snow. Without it, we are seeing many enthusiastic, ready-to-go people who have arrived here, often for their first winter season, to work up on the mountains and in our priceless hospitality and tourist industries.

But while most of seasonal and longer-term employed workers are raring to go, without snow they haven’t been called to work this season. Thus, we are seeing many more people show up at our Lift-Up Aspen food bank. New arrivals often are worried that they shouldn’t be asking for food assistance. Oh, no, please ask for help now! The loyal volunteer staff at the Lift-Up Aspen food bank is headed by the indomitable Janey Gurow, herself a former ski instructor at the Aspen Skiing Co. and a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America. Janey wants hungry people to know that she and her dedicated volunteers are here to help.

The Aspen Food Bank is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in a new location at 465 N. Mill St., Suite 18, Aspen (just two doors down from the previous space). Interested parties also can call 970-544-2009 or simply show up during posted operation hours. For people living downvalley, go to http://www.liftup.org/ 7-food-pantries to print a list of times and days that the food banks are open in Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, New Castle, Rifle, Parachute and De Beque.

If you are in need of food, please go to the Lift-Up pantry or food bank that best matches your home address and — very important — bring a form of ID that is no more than 90 days old and that shows your current address — a rental agreement, utility bill, Colorado driver’s license, bank account opening doc or monthly statement, etc.

The staff and volunteers at Lift-Up help support our neighbors in need, honor our local workers who keep our economy growing, and thank local businesses for their donor support and job opportunities here in our service area, from Aspen to De Beque.

Amy Barr

Aspen Lift-Up Food Bank

R. J. Paddywack’s gives Roaring Fork Audubon a lift

Since we consider ourselves the spokespeople for our local native birds, Roaring Fork Audubon would like to give a big thanks to R. J. Paddywack’s for helping us with our annual Bird Seed fundraiser. Locally owned, Paddywack’s donated 20 percent of all their sales toward this important fundraiser, helping our all-volunteer board to bring awareness to local conservation issues facing our native animals, especially the birds. Our hope is that awareness and education transfer to protection.


Mary Harris

President, Roaring Fork Audubon

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