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Meet Jenny Emerson of Raising Kindness Colorado in South Denver

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenny Emerson.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jenny. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Kareen Shapiro and I came up with the idea for Raising Kindness Colorado over a year ago. The idea was born after seeking out volunteer opportunities for our children and not being able to find very many opportunities for school-age children. We wanted to engage in volunteerism with our children and teach them about the needs in the greater Denver community. Our goal was to create a program that empowers children and families to do good in their community.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Kareen and I have different life and career paths which led to different perspectives when we were starting Raising Kindness. We had to learn how to work together given those differences. We both saw these differences as learning opportunities for open communication and respect. This led to a stronger working relationship which solidified our goals for Raising Kindness and what we wanted to accomplish. We now understand each other better and we are on the same page regarding our goals for the future of the program. We are both very grateful for each other and the different skill sets we each bring to Raising Kindness.

Please tell us about Raising Kindness Colorado.
We organize volunteer events where school-age children and families can give back to the community. The events are impactful, inclusive, fun and engaging for all school-aged children, families and non-profit partners. Events are geared toward elementary school-age children and their families, with the requirement of adult supervision. A theme is selected for each Raising Kindness event to connect children and families to community issues and populations. Examples of themes include animal welfare, vulnerable families, food insecurity, illness, and veterans.

At each event, multiple stations are set up with activities that children and families can complete at their own pace. The items created are then donated to the non-profit partners. Some examples of projects we have created at past events include crate blankets for animals, thank you cards for Veterans, emergency room activity kits for ill children, food and hygiene kits for local food pantries, shelters and resource centers. We have a representative from the non-profit organization partner attend the event and share a brief overview of their mission on how the projects will be utilized in the community.

We are proud of our success and support from our community. Since April 2019, Raising Kindness has held seven public and private events with over 450 children and over 200 adults creating more than 2,300 interactive projects and donating over 2200 pounds of perishable items to nine Denver Metro area non-profit organizations.

Our events set Raising Kindness apart because there are very limited opportunities for school-age children to volunteer on a regular basis. We provide a convenient, family-friendly and fun opportunity for school-age children and their families to start volunteering and making an impact in their community.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If we started over, I am not sure if we would have done anything differently. We have learned so much from the process of bringing an idea to fruition. After each event, we reach out to participants and non-profit partners for feedback so we can continually improve events. We aim to create events that are impactful and look to our volunteers to help us with that process.

Pricing:

  • It costs $5 per participant to help cover supply and administrative costs

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.raisingkindnessco.org
  • Email: jenny@raisingkindnessco.org
  • Instagram: @raisingkindnessco
  • Facebook: @raisingkindnessco

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