Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Dec. 31, 2017) | AspenTimes.com

Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Dec. 31, 2017)

Holiday Baskets Program filled with appreciation

The Holiday Baskets Program, a totally volunteer project, was once again a joyful community effort. For 36 years this program has provided new gifts and food gift cards for those in need in our valley. This year we served 254 families (1,091 individuals). People are referred to the program by social-service agencies and are then "adopted" by individuals, the faith community, businesses, city and county employees, schools and other groups.

The response this year was particularly generous with many people and groups participating for the first time. We received wonderful donations of toys, clothing, money and gift cards, as well as incredible volunteer hours.

We had a lot of energetic help on Kids Wrap Day! We are grateful for grants from the Thrift Shop of Aspen, Aspen Elks Lodge and Aspen Rotary Club.

While it is not possible to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the program (we had over 350 volunteers!), several of them deserve special recognition. Neal Batson, Elaine Bonds, Kathy Dreher, Elizabeth Parker and Bobbi Teliska spent many, many hours and a lot of energy matching families with Adopting Angels and making sure all the gifts were ready on pick up days. We also are grateful to Christ Episcopal Church for once again providing space in which to coordinate and distribute the thousands of gifts. Also, our treasurer, Marsha Cook, worked extremely hard.

It was heartwarming to observe so many people in our valley participating in this project with such love and generosity and it was truly joyful to see the happy faces of the recipients when they received their bags of gifts. If you haven't seen our video, please go to holidaybasketsprogram.com.

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Anne Blackwell

Chairperson, Holiday Baskets

Props to Skico for going latex-free

Thanks so much to Aspen Skiing Co. and Mountain Dining for eliminating the use of latex gloves in food-service areas. By recognizing the risk to diners of exposure to latex and making a switch to non-latex gloves, the possibility of life-threatening reactions has been eliminated. Skico has set a great example for all dining establishments. The effort put into making this happen is hugely appreciated.

Karen Barch

Basalt