By Alexandra Fradelizio | m/Oppenheim Media Writer
Throughout Colorado, 166,000 children live in poverty and have limited access to basic essentials, such as clothes and school supplies. In order to help these children succeed in school and grow into becoming self-sufficient adults, the Broomfield based nonprofit A Precious Child serves 8 counties in the Denver metropolitan area and works with more than 450 Agency Partners to provide resources and opportunities to some of the youngest and most vulnerable members of society.
“A Precious Child is committed to empowering disadvantaged and displaced children so they may grow up to become secure, self-reliant, contributing members of their communities,” said the organization’s Chief Executive Officer and Founder Carina Martin.
“We come alongside our Agency Partners to take a holistic approach to care, allowing our Agency Partners to focus on their own important missions and allowing A Precious Child to help even more children and their families on the path to success.”
Each year, the organization works with their partners to provide clothing, toiletries, school supplies, and scholarships to thousands of children each year. In 2017, nearly 45,000 children were served with ages ranging from a few months old to eighteen. Many of the organization’s participants are in the foster care system, but upon becoming young adults, A Precious Child continues to offer additional services to help them live independently.
“We want to be there to help them have a fresh start in order for them to be successful in their new life as an adult,” explained Martin.
In order to provide resources to youth in need, A Precious Child organizes a number of distinct events. Throughout the school year, the organization collects school supplies for its Fill A Backpack campaign, serving 17,000 children this past year. During birthdays and the holiday season, volunteers collect toys and gifts and redistribute them during their Precious Gift event. All the campaigns lead by A Precious Child help the young recipients to experience the pure happiness of being a child.
“For us, to really level that playing field for disadvantaged and displaced kids and to make sure they have the same opportunities as their peers is really at the core of everything that we do,” said Director of Development and Marketing Alissa M. Trumbull.
Additionally, one of the most profound ways in which A Precious Child assists children and their families is through their Resource Center. Community members donate about 5,000 pounds of clothes and household items which are then sorted by the organization’s expansive team of over 5,000 volunteers and relocated to one of 33 satellite boutique centers across Colorado. On a daily basis, 35-40 families, or about 150 individuals, visit the center and shop the items, all of which they are able to take home free of charge.
“We want to make sure that when they’re coming and shopping with us that it really is a dignified and respectful shopping experience,” explained Trumbull.
“We want them to have the access to the things that they need for their children and to help them feel like they have the support that they need.”
While the organization continuously works to provide clothes and services to children across the state, more funding is needed in order for their young clients “to have a fair shot” in their daily lives, says Martin. Thanks to the help of generous donors, A Precious Child moved into a new building three months ago in order to accommodate the greater need for their services. However, numerous families continue to travel miles to reach the organization’s Resource Center and services, so A Precious Child is working to gather enough funding to construct a new building in South Denver.
“What they get from us is so valuable for their families that it’s worth it to them,” said Martin of the clients traveling to benefit from the organization’s programs.
“For us to be able to be closer to where our clients are and to make it easier for them to get the services that they need is always at the forefront of our minds,” added Trumbull.
A Precious Child was originally founded by Martin after she visited Thailand while on a mission trip. During her time in the country, she volunteered in orphanages and witnessed the need for services to assist neglected children in becoming independent and confident adults. While she initially planned to start a nonprofit to help youth in Asia, after meeting with Colorado organization leaders and principals, Martin realized there was “a huge need right in our own area and that we needed to empower the children right in our own communities so that one day they’ll give back.”
As the organization expands, Martin, Trumbull, and the rest of the team at A Precious Child hope that one day their help will no longer be needed as child poverty becomes eradicated throughout Colorado. In the meantime, the organization is working tirelessly to provide as many services as possible to children in need and equipping them with the necessary tools to become successful, contributing members of society.
“As long as there are children who need our services, we are here, and we are going to support every child that we can in the best way possible,” stated Trumbull.