Tom and Denice Chenault
To Whom It May Concern
For four years now, we have had the extraordinary opportunity to become involved with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, and in particular, The Forum Apartments. The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless owns The Forum Apartments, and has as its mission to provide permanent solutions for the homeless. Within that philosophy, the Forum is an 100 unit apartment building for people who have been homeless. The purpose of the Forum is to provide subsidized studio apartments for the homeless. Their mission statement is to hold a safe space for the formerly homeless to live independently and maturely, with dignity, in a compassionate atmosphere.
The Chenault Family has taken on providing funding for the Forum Apartment residents to be able to have traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Everybody gathers in the dining room for a wonderful, hot, home cooked meal with candles, table linens and music. It is a time that brings people together and gives everyone something to be grateful for. Our family helps serve the meals and we always spend time just sitting and talking with these wonderful people and walk away even more blessed than when we walked in.
In addition, we gather ALL of our family and friends together a few weeks before Christmas and put together huge gifts bags for every one of the Forum residents. They are packed full of essential toiletries such as soap, shampoo, razors, toilet paper, lotion, tooth brushes, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, shaving cream, and other goodies. This year, we were able to put together a ?blanket drive? and were able to give everyone a brand new blanket or quilt. We had so many extra that after the 100 residents received one, we went out to the City Park and gave other homeless people a new blanket also. Talk about a life changing experience!
We put together the gift bags partly so that each resident will receive a Christmas present, but also because these people have very little money that they are able spend on what we would call essential personal care items. These are items that will last months and months and are really a luxury for many of the people who live at the Forum. We assemble the gift bags in a half a day at our home, with the help of about twenty friends and family. It is a military operation by now, with an assembly line feel! After that, we load up the bags into several trucks, (this year we had a trailer to tote along the blankets), and head to downtown Denver.
With the help of many eager children, we personally deliver each bag to every resident in the building with a cheery knock on their door and almost inevitably, followed up by a hug. We are blessed to say that we have the trust and affection of 100 new friends.
The Forum Apartment project has brought on so much love and support, that in the year 2003, we will add another endeavor. We will take on doing the same for another Colorado Coalition building that houses mentally ill women. We have already been able to supply them with several new twin beds, and it is only January!
These projects have given us far more than we have put out in time and money. They have given us those things that are life changing. The idea of community, the feeling of compassion, the ideals of respect and tolerance, the gift of love and giving. These are the most important values we can pass down to our children, and we have found that not just talking about it, but living our life this way, has given us so much that we only want to do more!
Youngevity has been so very supportive with our projects by sending hundreds of boxes of product from nutrition supplements to personal care items. By being Double Diamonds in Youngevity, we are able to create financial stability for our family, and, in return, give even more to our community! Thank you!
Tom and Denice Chenault
2430 West Long Circle Littleton, CO 80120