November – A Time to Give Thanks and Give Back

Girls Giving Back at Excelsior Youth Center

November has arrived and with it the season of giving begins. It’s a time of year where people make an effort to give thanks and give back. As such, we have decided to theme this month’s blog posts around “giving back”. We hope to inspire you all to join Excelsior in giving thanks by giving back to the community.

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To start we’d like to share with you some of the ways Excelsior’s girls give back. Not only do our girls enjoy participating in giving, but they experience enormous benefits from the act of helping others. When our girls give back, their self-esteem is enhanced because they realize that they are doing something important and are therefore valuable. Our girls feel a huge sense of pride and accomplishment knowing they are capable of helping others. They realize they have something worthwhile to give and that they are appreciated for it. In turn, this encourages them to be helpful and giving in other situations which improves their social skills and relationships. Additionally, when our girls help others who are less fortunate than they are, they develop empathy for these people and learn to respect people’s differences. These experiences are invaluable for our girls so we provide as many “giving back” opportunities as possible for our girls at Excelsior.

Girls Giving Back: Staff Appreciation

Throughout the year, our girls participate in a “Girls Giving Back Program” on campus. Each week, girls show their support by doing something special for our staff. The girls choose what they want to do for a certain group of staff members – decorating their doors, baking homemade treats or making cards to show their appreciation. This gives the girls an opportunity to show their gratitude for staff and give back to the Excelsior community through their creative talents.

Giving Beyond Excelsior: Ronald McDonald House

ronald mcdonald houseWhen it comes to the larger community outside of Excelsior, our girls also do their part to give back. Every month, a group of Excelsior girls volunteers at the Aurora Ronald McDonald House. Depending on the current needs of the Ronald McDonald House, the girls either cook meals for deserving families or host family Bingo nights. Providing home cooked meals to families that may not have the time or money to do this themselves is especially rewarding for our girls. They fill a real need in the community and witness the appreciation of the families that need them so much.

A Scary Good Time of Giving

Recently, some of our Art students volunteered at the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys (DMMDT) for their “Not So Haunted House” Halloween event. The girls enjoyed painting faces for the young guests and interacting with the cute, costumed kids. Our girls hope to go back again in December to help with the DMMDT’s Gingerbread House event!

Giving Strength for Families

The holiday season is certainly a time in which people need a little extra support. Many families struggle to make ends meet throughout the year, but want to provide their loved ones with something special during the holidays. Even though our girls don’t have much themselves, they are helping ARC of Aurora support families in need. Our girls will adopt a family and host fundraisers so they can purchase items on the family’s wish list.

Getting from Giving

For our girls at Excelsior, giving back to the community is an important part of treatment that enhances their recovery. Giving back helps our girls become more respectful, confident and compassionate young women who can truly contribute to their families and communities.

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Colorado’s largest one-day online giving event, Colorado Gives Day, is coming up and we need your support! On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, thousands of donors will come together to support Colorado nonprofits like ours. Help us reach our goal of raising $20,000!

Donations can be scheduled ahead of time so check out our donation page on ColoradoGives.org. Give where you live on Colorado Gives Day. Your support helps us continue to transform the lives of at-risk girls through a continuum of high quality treatment services. Visit www.coloradogives.org/excelsioryc now to schedule your donation!


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