March 20, 2020

A message from our President & CEO, Verónica Figoli

It’s truly times like these that define us. At the DPS Foundation, we work to ensure every student graduates ready to lead a successful life. And, even during these trying times, we cannot forget that is ultimately our true north.

We might be physically distant, yet I feel the closest to our community and families that I have ever been. In partnership with the district, we are working to fulfill one of the most crucial needs identified for our community at this time—food security. With the announcement on Friday that DPS would be extending their spring break, we launched a Food Security Fund to ensure our families have less to worry about during this time of uncertainty. Thank you to the DPS Food and Nutrition team for serving on the front lines.

As some of you know, I was born and grew up in Venezuela. We have had decades of suffering and uncertainty, and I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would see my “adopted home” in so much despair. However, I remain optimistic because what I have seen the last few days reminds me what I love about this country so much. Helping each other is the fabric that unites this nation.

We acknowledge that these are unsettling times for all and yet the simple act of giving can bring us joy. No virus is stronger than our community.

The generosity I am witnessing in our community on a daily basis knows no bounds. A Denver area student, Sofia started a fundraiser to ensure students she has never met are supported. A Denver Broncos player, Justin Simmons, challenged others who have capacity to give to step up to do so. Just yesterday, I was inspired to see two DPS elementary students donate their own savings to support their fellow community. From $5 to the thousands, people are stretching themselves to show up for others. That is what makes a country strong. That is what makes a country healthy. Our Food Security Fund is a community fund powered by more than 900 individuals, corporations, and foundations united in solidarity.

As of today and with the generosity of the community, we were close to reaching our initial goal to support families through April 6. With schools now closed through April 17, and the potential to close for even longer, the finish line is even further. We remain focused and committed to supporting this need. We are working closely with the DPS Food and Nutrition Services Department to reassess the need with the new extension of building closures and additional waivers received. DPS is actively collaborating with the community to manage the need. Leveraging existing resources, consolidating efforts and collaborating among agencies are critical factors to maximize every dollar we get from our donors. Gracias!

Thanks to our early supporters who picked up the phone in a moment of uncertainty and gave us the confidence we needed to move forward to commit to DPS – Janus Henderson Investors, Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, RootEd, Liberty Global, Carson Foundation and a few others who prefer to remain anonymous. This would not be possible without your trust.

Thank you for being our community today, tomorrow and in the weeks ahead. Helping each other truly is the fabric that unites this nation. No virus is stronger than our community.