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Thankful for our Volunteers!

Photo of EZ

by Joan Gabrielson, Executive Director

"EZ" is the name of the handsome holiday pup in the picture above. He brightens the life of Marty Zaffaroni, who has been with Excelsior for 30 years and is currently a Team and Treatment Coordinator. I bet when you saw EZ's photo, you smiled. That is what our girls do (actually, they grin from ear to ear) when they walk (run) into the room and greet the dogs in one of our dog programs. We have furry volunteers from Freedom Service Dogs, Paws4Trust and Excelsior's Canine Healers program. While our furry volunteers bring joy, love and unconditional acceptance to our girls all year long, they are especially comforting during the holidays when so many girls are sad not to be home with their families or sad because they don't have a family to go home to.

Dedicated human volunteers amaze us with the long hours of preparation, the caring and the creativity they put into making the season bright for every girl. We have groups of volunteers who "Adopt a Cottage" providing Christmas gifts to each girl in a cottage. Our helpful volunteers also provide stocking stuffers; help decorate cottage trees, caroling and holiday card making workshops, and baking cookies with the girls. Aside from the holidays, our volunteers teach cultural cooking, dance, cheerleading, sewing, and commit to mentoring one on one with a girl on weekends.

Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers for showing our girls how much you care and that they are worthy of your time and caring. This is the best therapy there is. Please contact Gwen King (303-693-1550 ext. 311) if you would like to volunteer.

So often at this time of year, people want to know what our girls need. Here are some ideas for things our girls would love to see under the tree: stuffed animals, small rugs for next to their beds, colorful towels and washcloths, flannel PJ's and robes, alarm clocks, crayons & coloring books and books for reading (Junie B. Jones, American Girl , Judy Moody , Little House Chapter Books, Goosebumps , Gallagher Girls ). Our Wellness program would love some Wii games, footballs, basketballs, volleyballs, dodge balls, soccer balls, kick balls, large exercise balls, tennis balls, balance boards and hula hoops. Our cottages can use movie DVD's (G and PG only please), puzzles, kitchen towels and hot pad sets, cookie sheets, electric skillets, blow dryers, bathroom rugs, shower curtains, Tupperware, culturally diverse posters, 4 slot toasters and blenders, movie tickets, mixing bowls, spatulas, cupcake tins, cake pop tin or maker.

Thank you to our many donors who have been so generous to our girls over the years. We are very appreciative.

Happy Holidays,

Joan Gabrielson
Executive Director