FFL_One“One of the greatest joys of my support is going to visit the schools and see the programs I am investing in. To see the faces of the kids light up as they come through the door for an afternoon of fitness and learning and a hot meal – it makes the impact of my gift instantly humanly tangible. The staff is also incredibly inspiring. Whether it’s the cook who says now that her children are grown, these students are like her own kids, or the supervisor who makes a donation to support the program out of her own paycheck every month – there’s no doubt that my contribution is being used to make a real difference.

I think that sometimes, sitting in an office building in Denver, we can forget the proximity of this need. I have given to international organizations and causes for a long time, and that’s important to me too. But to witness the need and the gaps that exist in this community, right here so close to my home, it’s very powerful to recognize how direly needed our support is right here in Denver. It’s so fulfilling to give back to my community in such an immediate way.

FFL_TwoThe idea that a public school system can run just on taxpayer money – it’s just not possible. We have to do more than that. Taxes are mandatory; this is a commitment to our community. There’s a big difference and both contributions are necessary. If you’re going to be part of the community in Denver, DPS is absolutely an institution you need to be involved with. The need is so great, and the outcomes are so important to the success of our society. In DPS, there seems to be a momentum of real change being made. Sometimes it’s difficult, sometimes it’s controversial, but DPS appears to be taking a very thoughtful approach to making the institution work better.”

Mary Brauer is a longtime supporter and a champion for DPS after-school programs, recently joining our major giving initiative, Society for Educational Excellence in Denver (SEED).