Jefferson County’s Action Center in Lakewood has been trying to recover from what John Covert, the organization’s director of development, described as “a perfect storm.” The Action …
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If you wish to donate to The Action Center visit theactioncenterco.org/ways-to-donate/
Here is a list of items the center needs.
Jefferson County’s Action Center in Lakewood has been trying to recover from what John Covert, the organization’s director of development, described as “a perfect storm.” The Action Center’s executive director Mag Strittmatter resigned from her position that she held for over 15 years, donations decreased, and the organization was forced to suspend operations at its overnight shelter — a place that served an average of 18 people a night.
The Action Center, a human-service program that provides services to homeless and struggling Jefferson County residents, relies on donations, and it is about to receive much needed funds thanks to the city of Lakewood’s Matching Challenge. The city set out on a mission to match $17,000 in donations toward The Action Center by the end of the month, and it reached that goal. The funds will go toward everyday operations at The Action Center.
Those donations are something that will allow the organization to continue to serve 20,000 people each year like Lakewood resident Sarah Copenhaver.
Copenhaver has had a rough year, to say the least. She lost her mother and father earlier this year, and before her mother passed, she was her full-time caregiver. Once she lost her mother, she lost her job too. She lives with her sister in an apartment that her mother helped provide, but she is still struggling to make ends meet. Copenhaver says she is grateful that The Action Center is there to provide her with resources like clothing.
“As citizens, we should be offered things like this. I believe that our community should help those less fortunate,” Copenhaver said. “(The Action Center) means the world to me, because without this, I wouldn’t be okay right now.”
The match making is all part of a bigger picture to string together $1 million for The Action Center. The city of Lakewood recently donated $83,000 to The Action Center in a donation that was separate from the match making. With the $17,000 match making donation, The Action Center will bring in a total of $100,000 just from the city and an additional $17,000 from the community. That will give the organization a total of $117,000.
The funds will help with The Action Center’s everyday operations. The organization provides food, clothing, rental and utility assistance, and its Self-Sufficient Pathways Program, a case management program that helps residents who are in peculiar situations, such as being in poverty.
“The community understands that The Action Center is a valuable asset. It’s a real safety net for folks,” said Covert. “The Action Center provides basic needs when (residents) hit a bump in a road, but we also restore hope and we transform lives. I think that is how we’re going to make Jeffco a better place.”
Businesses like 240 Union, a Lakewood restaurant, have helped contribute donations to The Action Center. The restaurant donated 25 percent of food proceeds for a night on Sept. 27 to The Action Center, and that totaled out to roughly $2,500, which the city then matched.
“Maybe we’re all two paychecks away from being (at The Action Center). You have to give back to your community,” Michael Coughlin, owner of 240 Union said. “If you don’t, then why reside in your community?”
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