Cliff and Asia Lyons believe in community. Not an online community or an office community, but something that has become all too rare: a community built on shared recipes and helping one another. After achieving success as a chef and a schoolteacher for Cherry Creek School District, the two blended their passions and founded The Spoon to revive that sense of tableside camaraderie. Using cooking as their core, the organization's lessons impart important food-preparation techniques and easy recipes, but also branch out beyond the kitchen. The Lyonses stress the importance of continued education and spread their micro-community into the greater community by having their wards prepare dinners for families at the Ronald McDonald House and sort items at the local food bank.
In an interview with CBS4 Studios, the duo explained that “when kids help make it, they want to eat it.” So their classes focus on healthy eating habits and blending bright flavors with a do-it-yourself attitude. They set up a kitchen area with tools and supplies at local schools, then help kids prepare chicken and rice soup or Vietnamese spring rolls—"one of the kids’ favorites.” Students in series classes, meanwhile, take their lessons to the next level by participating in off-site field trips to restaurants.
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Colorado Puppy Rescue works to save the lives of and find loving, permanent homes for as many puppies as possible. To that end, the organization partners with rural shelters and rescuers that don't have enough funding to adopt the puppies, many of which would otherwise face euthanasia due to overcrowding and lack of necessary resources. Colorado Puppy Rescue receives new puppies each week, and as a shelterless rescue, places them in foster homes and hosts adoption events at a local Petco. All puppies placed for adoption have been examined by a vet technician and are up-to-date on vaccinations.
The Marion Downs Hearing Center (MDHC) aims to help meet the needs of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as their families and colleagues. Its services address the needs of all age groups, providing newborn hearing screenings and speech-language pathology for children and adults, as well as helping teenagers who are deaf or hard of hearing to transition from high school to college or the workforce through its teen program. In 2011, MDHC screened 3,000 babies for hearing loss at birth and provided 100 audiologists, teachers, and researchers with professional training.
The beauty experts at Hair and Now Salon pamper their clients from head to toe with a full menu of haircuts, color treatments, facials, and mani-pedis. They add volume and texture to straight tresses with permanent waves and tame frizzy locks with Brazilian blowouts. Microdermabrasion treatments buff away dead skin cells and tiny skin squatters, while manicures leave cuticles groomed and nails painted pretty colors.
Through its Totes of Hope program, FBR distributes backpacks filled with nonperishable, nutritious, and kid-friendly food to children whose families might otherwise not be able to provide regular, full meals at home. After receiving the backpacks, children can bring them back to a Totes of Hope site each week so the organization can refill them with food to take home for the weekend, when many in-school programs that provide food are not operating. Last year, Food Bank of the Rockies provided 91,929 backpacks full of food at 57 sites in the Denver metro area, and the organization aims to distribute 123,000 more totes at 75 sites before June 2012.
Peter and Christy Kopp know the importance of children's mobility firsthand. Their daughter, Kayla, is physically disabled, and her wheelchair was her source of freedom. But when Kayla outgrew her first wheelchair, the Kopps knew there were other children out there who could benefit from it?they just didn't know how to reach them. So they began the Kids Mobility Network, which refurbishes and redistributes durable medical equipment for children with physical disabilities.
After collecting idle wheelchairs and other medical equipment from donors, the Kids Mobility Network works it back to like-new condition and matches it to an applicant whose needs it meets. This includes equipment ranging from manual or power wheelchairs to walkers and adaptive bikes. To date, Kids Mobility Network has served more than 900 children with disabilities, providing more than $3 million worth of equipment.