A Charity (Part II) That Really Hits Home - Dry Bones Denver - This is one of two of my two favorite charities in the Denver area. It is funny how we learn about different organizations and the causes they support. For the two charities that really tug on my heartstrings, both I have been introduced to through friends and past clients.
Dry Bones Denver is a ministry that helps Homeless youth and young adults. I have seen the numbers from around the country, it is something like 600-700K homeless under the age of 20. The stories the young people share are so sad, but full of hope. Every year Dry Bones hosts a charity auction to raise money to support the cause, the first year my wife and I participated, they raised enough money to hire two more staffers, including the son of some of our very good friends.
Dry Bones helps these young people to get everything they need, from ID's to jobs, to apartments, rehab if needed, it is truly a project with a much higher calling. They have even started a coffee shop, called The Purple Door, that hires only these young adults and teens, teaches them how to be responsible and earn a living and gets them much needed work experience and shelter. The Purple Door recently bought a coffee roaster and is now selling their coffee as an additional fundraiser.
During the fundraiser, which includes a live auction, silent auction and a dinner, where at every table is one of the benefactors of this great program, we have sat with a 32 year old lady, who was an orphan early in life, adopted by a couple in Minnesota that told her the day after they adopted her that they made a big mistake, imagine your parents telling you that they made a mistake in having you, and then feeling like an outcast, while the rest of the family all lives happily together. She eventually ran away from home because the streets were a more friendly environment, and made her way to Denver, which is definitely a little easier in the winter time to be homeless than Minnesota.
Like most of these kids, they are unwanted, discarded by the very people that bring them into the world, but the majority are very good people and just need some direction, someone to show them that they care. Our dinner guest went on to say that although she lived on the streets and slept with one eye open, she never missed a day of high school. She would have to take several different buses and transports to make it and then find her way back to the comfort of the street and the people she knew to be her "family".
This year the charity event actually had a few of the "guesthosts" speak to us all and tell us their story, all very moving, but the one that really stood out was a very sturdy man, I would say he was also in his early thirties now, he has been a part of Dry Bones since they opened the doors in 2001, he told the story of his dad dying of drug abuse and his meth addicted mom, injecting him when he was 8 years old so he didn't feel "left out". Again I was just blown away by people that have kids and then do this to them, he realized that he had better get ou8t of that environment or he would turn out just like his mother, I can't imagine having to make the decision to leave home as an 8 year old addicted to meth, because the streets are the better option.
I can go on and on about the stories of these people, but Dry Bones Denver is one of the best causes I have ever seen. I love being a part of this great program and helping out however I can. This years charity event helped to put 3 new bathrooms and laundry rooms in a small building that Dry Bones rents downtown to help give these people a place to clean up and sleep without having to worry about being beat up, rolled or raped.
This years fundraiser was held at Red Rocks at Ship Rock grill, one of the best venues in all of the area, here are some Facebook photos and more information. The video below is one of several they have on their site, but the first face you see is the young man we shared a table with this year. If the video below does not load, here is the Youtube Link to watch