Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! I love the chance to be with family and friends to celebrate the blessings we are given in life without the commercialism or expectations that surround so many other holidays. I boycott stores that are open on Thanksgiving. I hate Black Friday. I love Giving Tuesday. One week from today take a moment to share some of your blessings with someone less fortunate.
I recently attended a meeting of MAAH (Mothers Advocate for Affordable Housing) and was encouraged to see all of the interested Real Estate Professionals, Non-profit organizations and Government representatives there wanting to find a way to change Denver’s almost crippling housing situation.
What wasn’t encouraging was the statistics I heard and the almost insurmountable problem that keeps getting worse by the day.
Here are the facts.
According to the Metro Denver Economic Development Organization, the Metro Denver region had a 1.5 percent population growth rate between 2004 and 2014 and is consistently ranked as one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation. Metro Denver has a population of more than three million people, and has a growth rate that has consistently outpaced the national rate every decade since the 1930s. The region grew steadily in the past 10 years, and by 2020, Metro Denver’s population is anticipated to increase to more than 3.3 million.
But what’s left after housing costs for a family of four? A family that earns an annual income of roughly $59,000 and spends just 30% of their monthly income on housing lives on a very tight budget. If this family, like 25% of Colorado renters, spends more than 50% on housing, then essential living expenses have to be cut.
- 1 in 4 Colorado renters spend more than 50% of their household income on housing.
- 1 in 3 Colorado children are living in households with a high housing cost burden that puts their other needs at risk.
- A minimum wage worker ($8/hr) needs to clock in over 80 hours/week to afford a simple two-bedroom apartment.
So what can we do about it?
There are a series of bills that go before state legislature that will have direct and positive impact on housing needs for individuals and families throughout Colorado:
Unclaimed property – this bill could potentially generate $20 million to go into a housing trust fund that will serve seniors, veterans low income families and assistance for home ownership
Document recording fee – would capture revenue from government recording fees and would further add much needed funds to the housing fund.
State low income housing tax Credit renewal – this bill would decrease interruptions in the use of tax credits allowing for sustained economic growth.
Sign this petition from MAAH – Sign to support Mayor Hancock and Denver City Council in their recent announcement to establish one or more permanent revenue sources that will build and preserve at least 6,000 of the 30,000 affordable homes our City desperately needs. MAAH sees this initiative as an important, first step towards addressing Denver’s affordable housing problem and looks forward to working more with the City of Denver and its regional partners to address our housing crisis. Please join MAAH’s efforts as we advocate for the establishment of a permanent source of funding of at least $15 million in new revenue annually to support affordable housing in Denver.
Contact your legislator to encourage them to support affordable housing.
If you haven’t been to bd’s Mongolian Grill, bd’s encourages guests to “Stir It Up, Your Way” allowing guests to build their own stir-fry with “Always Market Fresh” ingredients. bd’s offers a variety of choice meats and seafood, veggies & flavor-packed sauces, all freshly cooked (Mongolian-style) on a large, flat top grill. This is an ultra fun way to try out new veggies, meats and fish for your kids!
First, this is not a quiet restaurant and so sound sensitive kids and parents be warned. However, you also don’t need to worry about your loud children, since it’s a fun, casual atmosphere! I think it might be challenging wiht little kids, since you choose what you want to eat and the wall around the grill is pretty high (not sure if really little ones would see enough to enjoy it) but my teenagers loved it – and I loved the “all you can eat” option. Anyone with teens or even hungry pre-teens will love that!
This summer bd’s has partnered with Litehouse® Foods, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company, to bring three unique sauces into their mix: Sesame Ginger, Honey Lime and Cherry Vinaigrette.
You can use these any way you want and partner them with some of the yummy ingredients on their food bars. Some example recipes:
- Cherry Glazed Pork: Carrots, Water Chestnuts, Bean Sprouts, and Green Onions, Litehouse® Cherry Vinaigrette, and Cherry Glazed Pork
- Sesame Ginger White Fish: Tong of Pea Pods, Bok Choy, Carrots, Green Onions, Litehouse® Sesame Ginger Sauce, and White Fish
- Honey Lime Chicken: Green Peppers, Onions, and Green Onions, Litehouse® Honey Lime Sauce, and Chicken
- Honey Lime Infused Crawfish: Noodles (Your Choice), Green Beans, Spinach (from the Salad Bar), Carrots, Green Onions, Baby Corn, Litehouse® Honey Lime Sauce, and Crawfish
Much to my kids dismay I tried the Crawfish and they were yummy (I managed to eat them to the gags of my children and my husband), but the kids found many ingredients they loved and came up with unique meals for themselves.
On top of all of this, bd’s likes to give back and so be sure to check out their No Kid Hungry® and the Dine Out for No Kid Hungry program.
On September 23, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., participating bd’s Mongolian Grill restaurants will donate 20 percent from every check to No Kid Hungry when a guest mentions “No Kid Hungry.”
Additionally, now through September, bd’s Mongolian Grill corporate locations will donate 50 cents to No Kid Hungry with every Banana Split Cheesecake purchased. Guests will also receive double the points on the My bd’s Rewards App for each Banana Split Cheesecake purchased.
Last year, bd’s raised $2000 for the No Kid Hungry campaign. No Kid Hungry funds are used to raise awareness about child hunger in the U.S., create public-private partnerships that align kids with the resources they need, support nutrition programs like School Breakfast and Summer Meals, and educate kids and their families on how to cook healthy meals with limited resources.
For more information about No Kid Hungry, visit www.nokidhungry.org.
Our family prides itself on recycling. Each week we put out a lot less in actual trash than we do in recycling. Hopefully we do our part to give back and keep our dumps from filling up quicker.
Action Recycling Center
7610 W 42nd, Wheat Ridge
Cans, Metal, Paper, Plastic – They only pay for metal
What makes them so awesome is they recycle computer parts, extension cords and most recently we took a ton of old Christmas lights there – they pay you a bulk price (although the money wasn’t the issue, it was the recycling) and they pay you for the copper in the wiring. You have to break down your own computer to recycle it, but if you have a tech person in the house, this is a huge find!
Have electronics to get rid of that no one else will take? Best Buy accepts most electronics and large appliances, with a few exceptions. Please select your state from the drop-down menu on www.BestBuy.com/recycle to view program details for your area.
4455 E. 46th Ave,
Denver, CO 80216
Buds (which stands for Building Unity and Dignity through Service) takes new and used building and home products, then they clean, organize, and sort them. Better yet, they sell them to the public to support and provide the business environment for our job-training program for individuals rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness, and prison.
One tip here is that they’ll take mattresses – which is a great find – if you’ve ever tried to get rid of one, it’s almost impossible to get rid of a mattress!
Other Link Resources
A fantastic comprehensive directory by the city of Denver here:
My favorite is the listing for “bras” – keep in mind a lot of these are out of state and may cost you money, but if you’re a die hard, these are great resources!
One mysterious resource is from the Colorado Work Force on recycling here – http://www.coworkforce.com/green/locations.asp
Not sure what that has to do with Labor and Employment, but it’s a great list!
Colorado Gives Day is an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. Donations are accepted through ColoradoGives.org.
Colorado Gives Day was created by the Community First Foundation, a community foundation serving metro Denver, created the initiative in 2010 with the financial support of Colorado-based FirstBank.
To make a donation visit ColoradoGives.org which features over 1,600 Colorado nonprofit organizations.
Made possible by Community First Foundation since 2007, ColoradoGives.org encourages charitable giving by providing comprehensive, objective and up-to-date information about Colorado nonprofits as well as an easy way to support them online.