Thoughtful Parenting: Holiday options for families in need
Steamboat Springs — Parental stress and poverty have been found to play an important role in some abusive families. Many families in our community experience increased stress and financial burdens around the holidays — higher energy costs, increased child care costs as schools are closed, an expectation of gifts, seasonal illnesses and more.
Local organizations can help reduce such stressors during the holidays and all year round.
There are many local resources for those in need that can be found by calling 211 or visiting https://211colorado.communityos.org/cms/. 211 lists resources by county — everything from rental or utility assistance to “Christmas assistance” to early childhood education programs to domestic violence hotlines.
Financial hardships can make it difficult to feed one’s family. LiftUp of Routt County has food banks in Steamboat Springs, South Routt and Hayden. LiftUp also offers holiday meals for income-qualified LiftUp clients (supplies limited). Learn more at liftuprc.org.
Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors hosts an annual, free, open-to-the-public Christmas dinner from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 25 at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.
Families referred to Routt County United Way from a health and human service agency can participate in United Way’s Holiday Exchange Market.
LiftUp offers Shop With a Cop. Walmart donates $2,500 so that 20 low-income LiftUp kids can shop with policemen for holiday gifts. Learn more by calling 970-870-8804.
Northwest Colorado Health offers low cost health services on a sliding fee scale based on income and will not deny health care due to financial limitations. Call 970-879-1632 for more information.
Help Portrait Steamboat gives people who have never had their photo taken or who couldn’t otherwise afford a photograph a VIP portrait experience Dec. 10. To sign up, visit http://helpportraitsteamboat.com/.
If you find yourself in a position to donate time, visit http://volunteer.routtcountyunitedway.org/ for a list of volunteering opportunities in Routt County. To donate necessities or gifts to families in need, go to routtcountyunitedway.org. To donate funds, Colorado Gives Day is Dec. 6. There are many local charities that participate in Colorado Gives Day that would be grateful for your donation. Yampa Valley Gives is generously covering the credit card fees associated with donations to its local member charities, so 100 percent of your donation will reach your charity. Learn more and donate at yampavalleygives.org.
We hope this list can help reduce stress for local families.
Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA is a local, nonprofit organization that advocates for abused and neglected children. Visit rockymountaincasa.org to learn more about Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA and how our volunteers advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children.
Remember — speak up quickly if you suspect child abuse or neglect — a child’s life may depend on it. Report child abuse and neglect at 1-844-264-5437 (connects caller to Routt County Department of Human Services), or call the Routt County Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 970-367-4056. If a child has been hurt or is in imminent danger, call 911.
Have a safe, peaceful and happy holiday season.
Sue Fegelein is executive director of Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA.
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