(720) 446-6277 SantasElves@DenverDC.org

DENVER – The children’s nonprofit that prompted the Denver Public School District this summer to end its practice of giving disadvantaged students graham crackers and milk for lunch instead of hot meals, has honored some of the youngsters who helped fight the system. KidsGiving365 presented the children with its first Junior Philanthropist Awards.

The children honored include 9-year-old Lillie Sheppard, who donated money to help pay off the DPSD student lunch debt for 3,264 children. Sheppard also collected more than 200 pairs of new shoes and handed them out to children living in the Denver housing projects. Another child who was recognized is Lily Hernandez, 7, who baked biscuits with another child and sold them for a dollar each to help pay off the lunch debt. She’s also raised $3,600 to help chldren in other programs.

Other winners include 12-year-old Katie Colleran who asked kids at her birthday party to bring gifts for needy children in Denver instead of for her. Colleran also recruited her classmates and friends to sell lemonade and raise money to buy gifts for children in poverty.

Ten-year-old Maasai Allen traveled to Ethiopia with his grandfather to care for orphans throughout the area, and raised $1,500 for children’s programs.

The children were honored at the KidsGiving365 gala on September 29, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. The keynote speaker was Colorado Lt. Governor Donna Lynne.

“These students show generosity and willingness to stand for what is right and that should inspire us all,” said Lt. Governor Donna Lynne. “I am honored to join them, recognize their work, and rally us all to live up to the example they set.”

Watch videos of the children here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7EbLc9-5Rw

There was also dining, dancing to the band The Nacho Men, and a live and silent auction. KOOL105 DJ Jim Berry was the master of ceremonies.

KidsGiving365 was raising money to support programs that benefit the neediest children today and create the next generation of givers tomorrow. Its programs are unique because it allows kids of every age to get involved in community service. The children give to Colorado’s neediest children, face-to-face. The in-person giving experience makes a lasting impact.

KidsGiving365 also produces Santa’s Elves, the state’s larges kids-giving-to-kids event. This year, the nonprofit expects to match famlies across Colorado with 2,600 children at three locations in Denver on Saturday, December 9, 2017. (Registration opens in late October at KidsGiving365.org.)

The nonprofit 501(c)3 was started in 2010 by three moms who wanted their kids to get involved in philanthropy.

MEDIA CONTACT Deborah Sherman | Contact@KidsGiving365.org | 720.515.5692