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Local Firefighters and Parks and Recreation Partner to Brighten the Holiday Season for Boulder Youth and Seniors

Donation boxes are available through Tuesday, Dec. 18

The City of Boulder and Boulder Fire Department’s International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 900 union invite Boulder residents to support the community by donating gifts to community members in need. For the eleventh consecutive year, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department’s Youth Services Initiative (YSI) program is partnering with firefighters to support local families in need this holiday season through its annual Holiday Gift Drive to bring some holiday spirit to some of Boulder's residents, young and old.

“Our annual holiday celebration with the YSI youth and families would not be possible without the support of the Boulder Fire Department," said Alexis Moreno, recreation supervisor for YSI. "This long-lasting partnership is able to not only provide holiday gifts to those in need, but also help offset costs for families by helping eliminate the stress of holiday gift purchasing."

YSI provides youth from low-income families with opportunities and resources to make positive recreational, educational and lifestyle choices through after-school programs and community involvement activities. This year the program also hopes to provide gifts to 20 local seniors.

In 2017, the drive served over 150 families, providing nearly 500 gifts to Boulder youth. Community donations and the support of Boulder Fire Department’s IAFF Local 900 union helped purchase gifts for YSI families currently living at low-income housing sites citywide.

Donations of new, unwrapped toys and other youth-friendly gifts are appreciated, and even the smallest gift can bring a smile to a child during the holiday season. Donation boxes are available through Tuesday, Dec. 18 at the following locations:

  • North Boulder Recreation Center, 3170 Broadway
  • East Boulder Community Center, 5660 Sioux Dr.
  • South Boulder Recreation Center, 1360 Gillaspie Dr.
  • The Kinesis Dance Studio, 5603 Arapahoe Ave., Suite 6

Community members who would like to contribute to the YSI Holiday Gift Drive can also donate by calling 303-413-7217. All funding exceeding the amount needed for the toy drive will be placed in the YSI Scholarship Fund to help support year-round recreation programs for low-income and underrepresented youth.

In addition to the Holiday Gift Drive, YSI also will host a celebration for program youth and their families on Friday, Dec. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the East Boulder Community Center (5660 Sioux Dr.). The Boulder Fire Department and Boulder Housing Partners will be present to assist Santa with gift giving as attendees enjoy food, friends and music.

Volunteers are needed to assist at the celebration with set-up (4 to 6 p.m.), serving food (6 to 8 p.m.) and clean-up (8 to 9:30 p.m.), as well as for wrapping gifts on Dec. 11 or Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Iris Center (3198 Broadway). Community members who would like to help with any of these activities can call 303-441-4427 to volunteer.

For more information, visit the YSI website or call Programs and Partnership Manager Megann Lohman at 303-441-4427.

Published: Dec. 3, 2018

Media Contacts:
Denise White, Parks and Recreation Communication Specialist, 303-413-7258
Patrick von Keyserling, Communication Director, 303-441-4959