A New Awareness: Opening Our Eyes and Our Hearts to Hunger at 5280
I am a history buff and a keen observer of people. As a proud American I have always been humbled by the humanitarianism of everyday Americans, particularly during times of crisis. Recent events have galvanized my belief that, when we work together to combat an enemy and to resolve a problem, there is no greater force than the will and the fighting spirit of our country, emanating from the pride we derive from our sense of community responsibility. Some would tell you that we have lost this, but I beg to differ.
Much of my family has been sheltering in their homes from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Colorado. As grateful as I am for the precious time spent with our children and grandchildren, when the call came from our dear friends, Karen and Jim Bienemann, to help feed the hungry in Denver by joining their grassroots army, all hands – Kelleys, CereHealth employees, close friends – were on deck!
Karen volunteers at Denver Rescue Mission regularly and they were seeing an influx of folks who were in desperate need, many of whom are families who have been devastated by the scarcity of food through local resources. They have been stretched to their limit with increasing demand! What began as the desire of one woman to do her part to help her community has resulted in the mobilization of an army of givers whose objective is to combat hunger in Denver…one donated sack lunch at a time. The latest field report from “General Bienemann” is an indication of just how extraordinary the ordinary can be when called to action. From her report, here are the organizations that are now receiving “Bienemann Brigade” lunches every week, with coordination through Denver Food Rescue :
1. Denver Rescue Mission: 300 -400
2. Jewish Family Service: 400
3. Brown Bag Ministries: 400-500
4. Bird Seed Collective: 100
5. Green Valley Ranch out of Kipp Elementary: 100
6. Doull Elementary lunch delivery to a large apartment complex with Principal: 250
7. Heart and Hand Center in Five Points: 150
8. Sun Valley Food Bank: 100
9. We are adding min 200 lunches to a large Refugee Support Center this coming week
In her words, “These lunches make a difference because it gives folks an immediate meal to support their children and themselves. That emotional relief to have something already prepared to eat means more than we can even imagine.” She is so right – we can hardly imagine.
For our part, we are fortunate to have been introduced to Tammy Fischer, who with her cofounder Diana Horton, operates Brown Bag Ministries (https://brownbagministries.org/). It is through the efforts of people like Tammy and Diana that vital communities are possible. Their brown bag lunch program in and around Lakewood and the Colfax corridor meets the immediate food needs of an in-need Denver community that has grown in recent weeks to 400-500 daily meals. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I thought I would include a few from our recent deliveries with my wife Chris, daughter Casey, and our grandsons Logan and Dylan. We have witnessed firsthand the need and the gratitude of the people, many of them children, who were able to enjoy a good, old fashioned brown bag lunch. They touched our hearts with their infectious smiles.
Those who know me know of my mission these past ten years to help those suffering with chronic brain related injuries and disorders. My passion has evolved into applying advanced data analytics and technologies to provide intelligence into some our most complex medical and scientific challenges. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis we have maintained operations, while our superstar clinic team continues to consult with and scan patients in need of answers. I am proud of our team and the work that they do each day. Many of them are facing the same personal challenges to which all of us as Americans have been confronted, particularly our front line and healthcare workers. In honor of all of them I offer our support, in the name of the entire CereHealth team, to the “Bienemann Brigade” by donating $25 for every scan we perform to Brown Bag Ministries, so that their mission will continue to make a difference in combatting hunger at 5280…one brown bag lunch at a time.
Be well, stay safe, and share smiles (behind your mask)!
Chairman & CEO