NewsFront RangeDenver


Several donation centers for Denver migrants reach capacity amid persistent need

Donations for migrants at CCC
Posted at 8:28 PM, Jan 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-19 22:28:05-05

DENVER — Coloradans have been so generous with clothing donations for arriving migrants that many centers are now at capacity and forced to temporarily turn away offerings, according to Denver city officials.

“Due to the overwhelming generosity of the community, the city and its partners have run out of space to store clothing and other items,” a city spokesperson said in a statement. “While the need is still present, we ask that you pause donations of physical items while we identify another storage location. We will notify you once we again have space for donations.”

One of the partner organizations currently at capacity is the Colorado Changemakers Collective (CCC). In its lobby sits a sign alerting visitors that donations are not currently being accepted. CCC Director Maricruz Herrera said the organization has distributed six tons of donated clothing but still can’t keep up with incoming donations.

“We’re so glad that people have big hearts and try to bring all of the donations, but we need help,” Herrera said. “We are only four people on staff. And with tons of donations, it’s hard for us to keep going.”

Herrera said it will take time to process, sanitize and sort the stacks of donations sitting in their inventory, while still serving hundreds of migrants per week. Though they are not accepting physical donations, Herrera said monetary donations will help them in their search for a bigger location with more storage.

“People want to donate and be a part of this, you know, support the new people that are coming to Denver,” Herrera said.

While CCC and other partnering organizations with the City of Denver are currently unable to accept physical donations, there are still groups that will. Denver Newcomer Help, which includes smaller networks of moms and neighbors across the city, operates donation collections and distributions out of the Park Church in Denver’s Highlands neighborhood each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Organizer Elisabeth Nietch said they are still able to accept donations, but said individuals “dumping” items that are not needed outside of hours has bogged their process down. Therefore, she urged interested donors to come during their operating hours and bring key items such as jackets, pants, winter boots, gloves, and toiletries.

“I think all of us volunteers, all of us are looking for the same kind of emergency things that people who’ve walked, you know, almost 4,000 miles might not have in their back pocket,” Nietch said.

With many migrants expected to run out of time in shelters and be returned to the streets in just over two weeks — and hundreds of migrants continuing to arrive each day — Nietch said this work is vital.

“It feels kind of hopeless, so I’ve decided to focus on this,” she said, standing amid rows of donated items. “I can make sure that we have clothes.”

Several donation centers for Denver migrants reach capacity amid persistent need

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.