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Reblog: With a monthly meal, and friendly ear, volunteer ‘neighbors’ help struggling Colorado families

Reblog from The Gazette (Colorado Springs). You can read the full post here.

“When Lelia Escalante was in her 20s and raising two kids, she wasn’t doing it alone. She had her mom, and a solid network of family and friends to provide practical and emotional support. There were certainly moments when she felt overwhelmed and isolated, but the feelings weren’t a defining state.

This time it’s different.

She’s 51 and dealing with the painful effects of fibromyalgia and arthritis; there’s a cyst in her hip and surgery in her future. Her mom is now in her 80s, her old support group scattered. Escalante and her husband, John, 54, are again parents, this time to five of their grandchildren, who range in age from 11 to 17.

A few hours respite is a blessing. A few days off, more like fantasy.

‘I thought there would be more help, but with the kinship grandparents, once DHS (Colorado Dept. of Human Services) is out of it, it seems like there aren’t a whole lot of resources or options,’ said Escalante, of Colorado Springs…

Families Together vets, trains and matches volunteers with ‘self-identified, isolated families’ throughout Colorado, including around 50 in the Denver area. Volunteers deliver meals, groceries or care packages — traditionally, in person, but now under pandemic safety guidelines — and are encouraged to forge a bond with their families by regularly sending ‘encouraging notes’ or talking on the phone.”


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