Special things happen when people with a deep passion to see and do good band together. Young, old, and everyone in between becoming agents of change and dispensers of hope.
This is what the greater Colorado Springs area is experiencing through the innovative and collaborative efforts of COSILoveYou. The nonprofit’s mission is to mobilize resources in faith communities to “love the city” and its vision is that “every woman, man and child would experience the tangible love of God.” The organization works to address broader social issues such as homelessness, childhood education, and food insecurity.
Stu Davis, executive director of COSILoveYou, points out that there are various entities providing assistance and services to address problems. COSILoveYou develops partnerships with those entities to promote constructive solutions that work for the people of Colorado Springs.
CityServe Day: Flooding the City with Love
The organization hosts the annual CityServe Day in the fall, which has gained popularity and momentum as the largest single service day in southern Colorado. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds mobilize to participate in day-long service projects that beautify Colorado Springs and provide tangible help for residents, organizations, schools, etc. I had the honor of serving on the planning team for last year’s event. It was clear to me that the coronavirus pandemic did not slow CityServe Day efforts.
Good news! Stu projects that more than 5,000 volunteers will be helping with this year’s anticipated event!
Backpack Bash: Preparing Them for Success
Another annual COSILoveYou event is the Backpack Bash, which provides school supplies and services for children from under-resourced families throughout El Paso County. This year’s event will be held on July 31 and August 7. It will feature backpack giveaways, immunizations, dental and optical screenings, haircuts, food from Chick-Fil-A, and lots of fun activities for kids.
The event will include additional sites for families to access supplies and services. According to Stu, the organization aims to reach 15,000 children this year, “from Manitou to Monument, and Falcon to Fountain.” Any backpacks remaining after the events are donated to organizations serving rural communities in the county.
COSILoveYou enjoys strong support from local churches and faith-based organizations. There is a growing number of nonreligious agencies such as Pikes Peak United Way and for-profit corporations like BombBomb that align with the work of the organization and sponsor events and projects such as CityServe Day and the Backpack Bash.
Sign Me Up!
So how can you get involved? Stu encourages parents to volunteer with their children throughout the year. There are ongoing volunteer opportunities for families and the organization posts those on its website and social media platforms: Facebook and Instagram.
For the upcoming Backpack Bash, there is a need for all things back-to-school—particularly new backpacks. Drop off donations of new supplies at 20 locations in the Springs. Individuals, groups, and families can register for other volunteer needs leading up to the day of the event.
One of the things that impressed me in my volunteer work with COSILoveYou was seeing families and young people working to make a great difference in the various communities that collectively form Colorado Springs and El Paso County. The joy on faces and the energy at the various project sites I visited were palpable and encouraging.
There are plenty of wonderful ways we can show love to those around us. Won’t you join the efforts? Bring the kiddos along. They will love it!
For information on the Backpack Bash (July 31 and August 7), please visit www.backpackbash.com
For information on CityServe Day, please visit www.cosiloveyou.com
Summer of Kindness
Co Springs Mom Collective would like to invite you and your family to join us in spreading kindness throughout our city this summer. Print out our Summer of Kindness tracker and color in a heart for each kind deed you and your family take part in over the summer months.
And join us at our upcoming Park Hops to enjoy playtime with the kids and take part in a kindness activity. Our next Park Hop is THIS THURSDAY, July 8th and we will be collecting school supplies for COSILoveYou!