Summit Rotary’s inaugural Adopt an Angel program serves 259 families.

by the Rotary Club of Summit County
Adopt an angel
2020 was a huge success! New donations are going towards 2021's Adopt an Angel.
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567 children received winter clothing and toys in this year’s Adopt An Angel program. The event was held in the Silverthorne Pavilion, and for all of Covid’s obstacles, it went extremely smoothly. Families were not permitted inside. Instead, they parked along the loop and had goodies loaded into their trunks. Others opted for deliveries. The club travelled as far as Fairplay to bring joy to our distant neighbors. This not only minimized the Covid risk, but took pressure off those with difficulty travelling.

Intake was handled by the FIRC, who doled out the slots (targeting 500 kids) to agencies that serve underserved families such as Advocates for Victims of Assault, Early Intervention, Head Start, WIC, Youth and Family Services, and others. The final intake was 567, and that number didn’t scare the Rotarians because they had no frame of reference. What’s an extra 67 children? It’s like trying to contemplate the national debt—what’s another 247 billion dollars?

Summit County gave generously. Between our purchases and those donated, we had two furniture trucks loaded with goodies. That’s a lot of toys, which was good because there were 180 more children in the program this year than in 2019. There’s more need now than ever, so this seemed appropriate. In fact, on the day of the event, the FIRC’s food bank helped 230 families. 4th Street Silverthorne was hopping!

Even after purchasing jackets for everyone, the Rotary Club has what’s estimated to be a five-figure surplus in funds that will be donated to local food banks once the numbers are finalized. Simply put, the 259 families assigned to us did not need more stuff. Meanwhile, the need is far greater than these families alone.

Giving toys to children is an easy idea to get behind. We all know that struggling families will put food in bellies before they’ll buy toys. But once we know those kids have toys, the Rotary Club figured it best to spread the wealth beyond our chosen 259 families. Rotary is the perfect intermediary for these funds because we’re entirely volunteer-driven. We have no staff members, so we can pass along exactly as many funds as we’ve received. We feel that’s worth mentioning because this year saw record donations across the state and there’s no saying what we’ll bring in next year.

Next year, the club will ask what size and gender coat the family wants. Not only will this let families upsize if their kids already have a winter coat, but it will give the parents the chance to pick up a coat for themselves. When money’s tight, parents see to their children’s needs first, so this minor tweak will help us better serve the community.

There were a lot of incredible, feel-good moments during the giveaway, and amidst the tears of joy, Rotarians were lamenting the ability to give hugs. We thank Summit County for their overwhelming generosity. We also thank the many organizations and individuals that pitched in to make it possible. In no particular order, we’d like to thank our dozens of volunteers, the FIRC, the Lord of the Mountain Church, Alpine Bank, FirstBank, Stork and Bear Co, Red Buffalo Café, Frisco Adventure Park, Colorado Gives, the Joy of Sox, the Senior Center, High Country Healing, Breckenridge Rotary, SHS Spanish Honor Society, Red, White & Blue, Walmart, Columbia, the Silverthorne Outlets, iFurnish, Caldwell Banker, City Market, Safeway, the Town of Silverthorne, the Town of Dillon, Pinnacle, the Broome Family, AG, plus the Rotary Club’s media partners Krystal, Always Mountain Time, and the Summit Daily News.

The Rotary Club of Summit County unanimously thinks it a blessing to have inherited the Adopt an Angel program. We thank all our volunteers for their hard work and dedication. We thank all of our donors for their generous support. We look forward to running it bigger and better next year. Until then, we encourage everyone to continue giving generously whenever you’re able to wherever you see unmet needs.