CBS Colorado's Together for Colorado Toy Drive collects new unwrapped toys to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. The clubs make a big difference in children's lives not just during the holidays, but all year long.
At the Cope Club in Denver, basketball season starts in December. Until then, you can find Nathen practicing in the gym. He looks to the staff for guidance.
"They're helpful to me because, for one reason, they improve my basketball skills. It helps me," Nathan said.
On the court and off, Nathan has gotten a lot of help in his five years at the club.
"I used to not even read books at all. I wasn't smart at all, but then I came here, and I started reading a bunch of books and did the reading party and now I'm like one of the top students in my class," he explained.
He likes the family feel of the club, and as Nathan gets older he'll have an opportunity to work at the club. One of the tenants of Boys & Girls Club programming is leadership skills. At age 14, members can be hired as Junior Staff. The teens work at the front desk, serve lunch, or run programming. They also become mentor and role models for some of the younger children. The Junior Staff feel especially proud to see the children happy during the holidays.
"Just something about a kid getting a toy, getting a stuffed animal, something that they enjoy, something that makes them smile…honestly…it's pretty nice," said Lorena, a Junior Staff member at Cope Club.
Nathan also knows the importance of club support at Christmas time.
"If nobody gets a present they're probably going to feel bad because all their friends are getting presents and they're not," he said.
That is why the Together for Colorado Toy Drive is so important. We want to make sure that Nathan and all the children at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver feel good about how far they've come.
You can support the Boys & Girls Club members by dropping a new, unwrapped toy in the donation bins at participating King Soopers stores. The Together for Colorado Toy Drive runs through Christmas Eve.
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