Colorado’s largest one-day online giving event, presented by Community First Foundation and Firstbank is coming up on Tuesday December 4 and we’d love your support.
Our services are vital to the well-being of many children in our community. Recently, “Marisa” shared her story with us.
Marisa is now in her forties. Her parents divorced when she was about six years old. At first her parents’ relationship was amicable but it got increasingly contentious as time progressed.
For parent exchanges, they were doing what is known as “curbside drop-offs.” That’s where one parent drives the child to their other parent’s home (or agreed location). The dropping off parent stays in their car and the other parent stays in their home.
Marisa said because the family was involved in the court system and social services, and there were arguments and disagreements, these exchanges were stressful.
“I became very worried that there was going to be a fight when we were having exchanges between our parents’ houses. That kind of anxiety and stress meant that pretty quickly I had incredibly bad stomach pains leading up to and during any exchanges and usually for a while afterwards. Within about a year of that starting I got bad temporal mandibular joint disorders so my jaw locked up and I would grind my teeth so bad at night that everyone in the rest of the house could hear and there were other health implications for myself as well.”
Eventually the family was ordered to do their exchanges in the parking lot of the local police station. Marisa said this was even scarier to her than the curbside drop-offs because there wasn’t actually any police presence in the parking lot and there wasn’t any buffer between her parents. There’s more.
“The other thing about exchanging at the police station was my siblings and I felt this is The Police Department. That’s a serious place. It’s kind of a scary place. There’s power in the police and it was a reminder that there could be danger or that something bad could happen. It did not for me or any of the siblings I’ve talked to about this reduce our stress in the situation.”
This is one of the key differences our services make to families in conflict. When children are receiving services at Children First, they know there are buffers between their parents such as separate entrances, staggered arrival times and our staff who will never leave them unattended.
Providing a safe, secure environment for a child to spend time with their parent means that time will be more enjoyable and more meaningful. It makes a significant contribution to keeping a child and a parent connected while the parent is working on the underlying reason for the supervision.
It is critical for the health and safety of the children in our community that we keep our services affordable and we’re asking for your help in doing that.
First, you can make a donation and believe us, any amount will help. This is always true but even more so with Colorado Gives Day because there is a $1 Million Incentive Fund. When you make a donation of any size, we’ll receive a portion of this fund which increases the value of every dollar donated.
Check out our donation page on ColoradoGives.org. There’s no need to wait until December 4 to take action. You can go there right now and schedule your donation for December 4. It’s only donations received on December 4 before midnight Mountain Time that will get the boost from the $1 Million Incentive Fund, so scheduling ahead of time has the most impact.
Second, you can tell your friends and family members, even those who are out-of-state and out-of-country about Colorado Gives Day by sharing the link to Children’s First on Colorado Gives with them. An easy way to do that is simply share this post with them or telling them to go to ColoradoGives.org and to enter Children First in the search box.
Please be assured that however choose to support us on Colorado Gives Day, you’ll be helping us keep families connected in a safe and secure environment.
P.S. Have you heard of the national #GivingTuesday event? It’s on November 27 so if you want to support both events, on November 27 you can go to our ColoradoGives page and schedule your donation for December 4. How easy is that!