CTU Campuses Partner with SafeHouse Denver for Mother’s Day Baskets
Staff at CTU’s Colorado Springs and Aurora campuses recently partnered with SafeHouse Denver, a shelter for women who are victims of relationship violence, to prepare special Mother’s Day gift baskets. The baskets were assembled from donations of new scarves, makeup, lotions, candles, and other gifts. These baskets allowed CTU staff members to not only offer gifts to mothers who really need them, but to extend care, respect, and love to those women, as well.
Donations from CTU staff, faculty, and students, along with community members, were collected throughout the month of April. Though CTU’s volunteers originally sought to collect enough materials to create 35 baskets, those expectations were nearly doubled as enough gifts were gathered to build 65 total baskets.
A History of Giving
While this was CTU’s first year of preparing gift baskets and collecting donated gifts for SafeHouse Denver, it wasn’t the first go-round for Kari Shafenberg, Associate Registrar/DSO at the Aurora campus. Shafenberg has been working with SafeHouse on Mother’s Day gift baskets for the past seven years, and had two years of experience with other organizations before that.
The tradition of the charitable endeavor actually began with Shafenberg’s mother, who felt a strong connection to the plight of women suffering from relationship abuse. “My mom got the idea to start [creating Mother’s Day gift baskets] because she had a dear friend who was in an abusive marriage, and leaving was a hard decision,” Shafenberg said.
“When she did finally leave, she needed reminders that she was a valuable person who could achieve things on her own. The baskets were designed as a reminder for women like her that someone thought they were special and they deserved better,” Shafenberg continued. Her mother proceeded to organize Mother’s Day gift basket drives for over 20 years, including in diverse locations outside of Colorado like Hawaii and Virginia.
For Shafenberg, the ultimate purpose of the baskets goes far beyond the physical gifts contained within: “These baskets are a small gesture, but the meaning is important. The people receiving these baskets probably haven't had anyone tell them they matter in a long time, and we're letting them know that they do matter, and they are special, and someone cares about them.”
According to Shafenberg, CTU’s first year of building Mother’s Day gift baskets for SafeHouse Denver was an enthusiastic success: “I'm thrilled at the response from CTU staff and the members of the community who participated by bringing in donations. I've been organizing the Mother's Day basket events for nearly 9 years, and I've never seen such a terrific result the first year.”
With such an outstanding level of donations and support from the CTU community, Shafenberg is hopeful that this year’s Mother’s Day gift basket drive is just the first of many.
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