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Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Volunteers of America Recognizes IFCS Volunteer – Pat Chavez

Our friends over at Volunteers of America – Colorado Branch, recently recognized our volunteer Pat Chavez for her work in our food bank. We are reposting this story with their permission.

“With no prior experience, nor apprehensions about serving the community, Pat Chavez followed her desire to volunteer at the Integrated Family Community Services (IFCS) food bank. It is a job that is often physically demanding, as she lifts half cases of canned goods and stocks shelves.  It is also a job that requires attention to detail, as she sorts through donations, selecting only the freshest items, and a time for bagging up baked goods from Panera Bread.  Two years in, Pat is still enthusiastically involved, noting that, “Everyday is an enjoyable day.”  It is not only a time to serve, but a time to share some laughter with the team. But Pat is well aware that subject of hunger is no laughing matter as its icy consequences permeate through the lives of those who cannot afford to adequately feed themselves, and those in their care.

“Some clients are timid at first”, says Pat who responds by making clients feel at ease and welcomed.  “Hi.  Come on in.  Have you been here before?  Don’t feel bad; we’re here to help you.”  Casual and friendly conversation help to build a comfort level which Pat attributes to the people skills she acquired while working as a Surgical Assistant for 25 years.  Pat also finds that she is able to bridge language barriers with her limited Spanish, and delights in having the opportunity to work with a diverse group of guests, some of whom are single moms living in motel rooms with their children.

IFCS’s food bank is a food bank of choice, giving clients the opportunity of shopping for specific items themselves. “There is plenty on the shelves”, says Pat who is available to assist clients in finding what they’re looking for.  During the summer, fresh food is generously donated by Hudson Gardens, and some of the most requested shelved items are cereal, peanut butter and hearty oatmeal, which is particularly popular during the cold weather months. And last but not least, every child present is given a yummy cookie!

A quote attributed to actor Jeff Bridges states that, “One of the greatest feelings in the world is knowing that we as individuals can make a difference.  Ending hunger is literally within our grasp.”  With this reality at hand, Pat sums up her personal role at the end of the day with a gracious reflection, “I’ve helped”.

Perspective has the power to turn perceived obstacles into stepping stones of hope.  Before volunteering, the word food bank ushered the imagery of, “people in need with hungry kids”, to Pat’s mind.  But now, that same word, introduces a new insight, “It’s not a hand out, but a hand up.”

Thank you Pat, for all that you have accomplished and continue to do to honor those who seek to escape the shadows of hunger.”

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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Each day, IFCS works to meet the needs of families in our community. We meet their needs through your support of our mission. Please consider supporting IFCS through continual giving by becoming a Compassion Partner or through one of our many other forms of giving. ... See MoreSee Less

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Integrated Family Community Services

Thank you to our partners at Aspen Grove Shopping Center. Give a gift and receive a gift - we appreciate your support!Donate gift cards from any Aspen Grove retailer today and tomorrow from noon to 4 PM and it will be given to local families in need by Integrated Family Community Services. Receive a limited-edition Aspen Grove ornament with the donation of a gift card from an Aspen Grove retailer valued at $10 or more. Non-perishable food items and hygiene products are also accepted. Drop off your donations at our Holiday Station near Gigi's Cupcakes. ... See MoreSee Less

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TOY GIVEAWAY TODAY and FRIDAY

Who -

**Parents seeking gifts for their children age infant through 17.

Dates & Times -

** Thursday, Dec. 13, 8:30 to 11:00 and 1:00 to 3:00 for those living within western Arapahoe or Northern Douglas counties. Areas include Centennial, Englewood, Glendale, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Lone Tree, Sheridan and unincorporated Arapahoe County.

**Friday, Dec. 14, 8:30 to 11:00 and 1:00 to 3:00 for anyone in Colorado

What’s Needed -

**Interested parents will complete a registration form in our office. The following documents are also needed - Parent ID, Child ID (birth certificate, Social Security Card, or school ID), and Proof of Address

What to Expect -

- We will not be able to honor requests for clothing or specific toys.
- We have very few items for teenagers.
- If we run out of toys, we run out of toys.
- Unfortunately, those seeking gifts can receive no other services that session.

Call 303-789-0501 for details
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IFCS On Twitter

Opportunity for 5 dynamic self-starters interested in learning more about nonprofit case management with IFCS. Come join our team of compassionate neighbors eager to lend a helping hand. Applicants seeking college level credit should apply. https://t.co/TKqs7QX159 #GiveBack

Today, we published our newest video showing the work we do and asking for your continued support. Please give it a watch and share with your friends!

https://t.co/ZxqJurEss3

THANK YOU! We nearly did it on @ColoradoGives day. Let's finish the job today since there is still time to help.

https://t.co/b6JIKgPs9z

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