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Coloradans donate more than 30,000 items for migrants, nonprofit says

Coloradans donate more than 30,000 items for migrants, nonprofit says
Posted at 4:49 PM, Dec 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-21 11:33:22-05

DENVER — A room at Iglesia Ciudad de Dios in Denver's Harvey Park neighborhood is filled to the brim with piles and piles of clothes.

"I feel tearful, but I'm grateful," Marielena Suarez, president of the nonprofit Papagayo, said Tuesday.

The church opened its doors to the nonprofit to collect donations for migrants on behalf of the City and County of Denver.

"When I'm saying this is beyond our expectations and we're extremely grateful is because people here in this state are amazing," Suarez said.

Since last week, she says Coloradans have dropped off more than 30,000 items, anything from winter gear to everyday clothing.

"It helps me realize that I was right, what I believe about Colorado, that we're a state that believes in community, that we help and support one another, that we don't judge people," Suarez said.

Volunteers worked Tuesday morning to sort through all the donations and put them in boxes so they can be delivered to the shelters housing the migrants who've recently arrived in Denver.

"Absolutely heartwarming. I mean, people's generosity and their caring and all of that is just so heartwarming. I'm just ... I'm grateful to be able to be a part of it," volunteer Mary Helen Sandoval said.

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, 175 migrants arrived overnight. The city has served roughly 1,321 migrants since Dec. 9, with many of them, if not most, coming from places with warm climates. It's why Suarez is beyond thankful the community has stepped up to help.

"These are folks that have gone through very difficult times, things that people cannot even imagine," she said. "To be able to see that you have a jacket after you went through such a difficult time and know that somebody out there cares for you, it means the world to them."

The nonprofit is collecting donations at the church, located at 5255 W. Warren Avenue, only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

According to the Denver OEM website, the following items are needed most:

  • Men’s shoes/boots: sizes 7-10
  • Men’s and women’s underwear and socks: sizes small and medium
  • Backpacks/Totes
  • Gender neutral winter clothing: sizes small and medium

If you have questions about how to donate, you can contact the nonprofit at 720-900-4985. Want to volunteer? Sign up to sort donations (minimum of 2 hours is requested) through this link.