Community steps up to support BVSD students during pandemic

Food services team member passing out food
Randy Barber

Shortly after schools closed in March, Liquid Mechanics reached out to Impact on Education, to let the Boulder Valley School District’s foundation know that they were planning to donate a portion of their proceeds over four weeks to help with BVSD’s emergency food distribution.

“It is not just our job to support our community when times are all unicorns and rainbows,” said Davin Helden, the local brewery’s chief executive officer. “It is needed now more than ever because while schools are closed, kids still need food.”

Like many other businesses, the company located at the corner of U.S. 287 and Baseline in Lafayette was hit hard as the economy slowed dramatically under the state-wide Stay at Home orders.

“We are coming off of our best January and February ever for the six years of our business. We were looking forward to a really awesome year, but that of course is not going to happen,” Helden said. “Our tasting room sales dropped off about 58 percent when we transitioned from sit down to take-out only.”

Over the six years the brewery has been open, however, it has always put a priority on philanthropy and they decided this wasn’t a time to stop.

“That has always been the mantra at Liquid Mechanics -- we’ll do the right thing no matter how painful,” said Helden. “We wanted to find a way to donate that would be meaningful but would not make us go totally broke.”

They gave a total of $2,230, plus several of their patrons were inspired to give independently, as well.

Our BVSD families have also risen to the challenge to help those in our community who need support. As of today, 904 families have requested to transfer their unused lunch funds to support the BVSD food bag distribution. If you would like to transfer your lunch funds, you can still do so by filling out the quick form here.

Across town, the Boulder Book Store on Pearl Street is dark and the doors are locked because of the pandemic.

“We had 40 people working at the store before this happened,” said Boulder Book Store Owner David Bolduc. “A bunch of people have left and have decided they are not coming back. We are down to about 12 people.”

Even so, the store continued it’s long-standing effort of providing books to less fortunate students. Shortly after schools were closed, the store’s staff jumped into action, generously donating hundreds of books, which were placed in backpacks, along with paper assignments and school supplies for students who didn’t initially have an internet connection.

“It is a wonderful program,” Bolduc said.  “You can see the impact.”

“You think in Boulder County that everyone is fine, they have food. There, however, is a large number of people whose resources are very, very limited,” Bolduc said. “The kids [who have received books] do not have resources and some of their parents may have lost their jobs too. They don’t even have a safety net.”

While he acknowledges that the future is uncertain, he says that Boulder Valley has made its way through fires and floods before and he hopes that the books will help to inspire the young students, just like they did for him when he was a child.
 

Impact on Education helps to coordinate donations, volunteers

As Boulder Valley School District’s staff has snapped into action to serve its students and families, Impact on Education has been there every step of the way.

Thanks to the donations collected by Impact, via its Critical Needs Fund, we have been able to provide more than 114,000 meals, $33,000 worth of gift cards, and 3,000 backpacks full of supplies to BVSD students and their families.

“We’ve gotten donations from $3 to $50,000,” said Impact on Education Executive Director Allison Billings. “I even had a guy who reached out and donated an entire butchered cow to Chef Ann that then was distributed to families.”

Additionally, community members have been quick to answer the call when Impact has asked for help. 

“Volunteers have sewn hundreds of face masks and sent them to us,” Billings said. “When schools were first closed and we started the food distribution, we put out a call for volunteers and we had 70 volunteer slots filled in 15 minutes."

Additionally, Billings has worked closely to coordinate Impact and the district’s response with other non profit organizations in the community.

“I’m super proud to be here and to live in this community,” Billings said.

We know that more people than ever before find themselves in need.

If you need assistance, here are some helpful links:

BVSD Emergency Food Distribution
BVSD Community Resources
Boulder County COVID-19 Resource Page

If you are in a position to help, reach out and learn more at www.impactoneducation.org


 

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