La Puente Volunteer
HOPE Week is made up of a series of events hosted by La Puente to raise awareness of homelessness in the San Luis Valley. 20.5 percent of the residents of the Valley live below the poverty line, including 31.8 percent of the children. La Puente is a non-profit organization that advocates for at-risk populations. La Puente provides services to those in need through eight different programs that aim to prevent homelessness and educate the community on these issues. HOPE Week takes place from Saturday, September 2h through Saturday, October 1.
HOPE Week (Homeless Organizations Promoting Education) is well under way with the support of ASC students and community members.
Saturday night La Puente hosted the Solidarity Sleep-out on the Campus Green. Smells of freshly watered grass, hot chocolate, and homemade cookies filled the air as students gathered around in their sleeping bags to hear a story of homelessness and hope from a current guest at the shelter. The message was moving—homelessness can happen to anyone, you need to keep on track with your goals and ambitions, don’t take what you have for granted.
Afterwards the documentary “My Own Four Walls” was shown in the Student Union. The film focuses on children and teens affected by rural homelessness. The night ended as folks began to slip into their sleeping bags. The Green was occupied until about 8 a.m. on Sunday. Overall the night was a success—educational and fun.
Students and community members then joined La Puente for the Mile of Hope race Sunday afternoon. The race also served as a shoe drive for ReThreads, a La Puente program that gives out free clothing to those in need. Matty Hawkins won first place in the race and received a La Puente t-shirt, Milagros gift card and invite to eat a meal at La Puente’s emergency shelter.
HOPE Week continues with Fasting For Change. Pick up a Fasting For Change button at the Grizzly Den in the ASC Student Union. Wear the button proudly while you fast for a day to experience hunger. Forty three million individuals rely on food assistance annually in the U.S. La Puente’s emergency shelter serves over 40,000 hot meals a year and the Food Bank gives out emergency supplements to thousands of individuals every month. Yet, there is still more need to be satisfied. Go a day without food in solidarity with the millions around the world who feel the pains of hunger every day. Buttons can also be picked up at Milagros and Rainbow’s End and will be available through Saturday, October 1. All donations will be used to support the various La Puente programs.
HOPE Week will conclude with open houses at the Food Bank and
Adelante—a La Puente program endeavoring to transition families out of homelessness—this Saturday, October 1. Tours, refreshments, and games will be available between 11am and 1pm with a special ribbon cutting at noon. Everyone is invited to come and learn about two of the many programs La Puente has to offer. Open Mic night will follow on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Milagros. All musicians are invited to share their talents.
For questions about any of the HOPE Week events, or for general information about La Puente or volunteering, please contact the Community Education and Volunteer Coordination office at 719-587-3499. Check us out on Facebook—LaPuente Home Inc—or on our website at lapuente.net.