Refrigerators and outdoor heaters

Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods’ S.E.E.D. helps fund eight community projects

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Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, a registered neighborhood organization that serves the greater Capitol Hill area, presented its annual S.E.E.D. awards on Jan. 6 with a virtual presentation.

This is the third year for the S.E.E.D. Awards Program, which exists to help organizations meet immediate funding needs for smaller projects that encourage civic entrepreneurship and/or promote neighborhood engagement. To be awarded S.E.E.D. funding, a project must enhance the greater Capitol Hill community and align with CHUN’s mission and values. S.E.E.D. is an acronym for Smart development, Enrichment, Environmental sustainability, and Diversity in the community.

Since the program’s inception, more than $20,000 have been directed to the community — this year’s amount being $8,000.

“The S.E.E.D. awards are an opportunity for our organization to fuel creativity through local solutions and community-based impact investments,” said Travis Leiker, CHUN’s president and executive director, in a news release. “As Denverites continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty on myriad fronts, this initiative is an opportunity for us to make a positive impact. This is how Denverites can come together and make meaningful change.”

2022 S.E.E.D. recipients

B-Konnected

The project: form partnerships with neighborhood groups to support B-Konnected’s work that focuses on housing access and housing stability by increasing housing retention rates among marginalized renters.

Learn more: bkonnected.org

Denver Community Fridges

The project: Purchase a refrigerator and build a shed with built-in pantry shelves to house the refrigerator. The end result will establish and maintain an outdoor pantry aimed at combating food insecurity and food waste by offering food 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The pantry and refrigerator will be “stocked daily with food, diapers, menstrual products, hand warmers and other essentials for anyone to use,” said Eli Zain, Denver Community Fridges’ founder.

“Some of our most special relationships come from community members who drop off items to our fridges. These refrigerators are vehicles for community building, and we are very excited to expand our project into new areas of Denver.” — AJ Boglioli, Denver Community Fridges operations.

Learn more: denvercommunityfridges.com

Denver Park Trust

The project: organize a spring park clean up at Alamo Placita Park, partnering with Ready to Work, which provides work opportunities for recently homeless.

Learn more: denverparktrust.org

Denver Urban Gardens

The project: Transform the community garden at Morey Middle School into an outdoor classroom and gathering area, featuring native pollinator plants, edible perennials and native berries.

“The students, staff and community gardeners at Morey would love to see the school function as a community gathering space but there is no outside seating and little shade. With the help of the CHUN grant, we will be able to finish our new outdoor classroom space, including tables for sharing meals and seating for small class groups.” — Gigia Kolouch, garden leader at Morey Middle School Community Garden.

Learn more: dug.org

Dora Moore PTSA

The project: purchase books for the Dora Moore school’s Little Free Library. The books will depict diverse main characters to help encourage students to develop a healthy self-image. Dora Moore is located at 846 Corona St. and serves children in early childhood education to eighth grade.

Learn more: moore.dpsk12.org

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church

The project: support Our Savior’s Lutheran Church’s Helping Hands program, which purchases much-needed items such as socks, clothing, and toiletries, for those living in shelters in CHUN neighborhoods. The church is located at 915 E. Ninth Ave.

Learn more: oslchurchdenver.org

ReCreative Denver

The project: host Head Room Sessions at various locations around Capitol Hill. Head Room Sessions are intimate live music sessions featuring BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists.

Learn more: recreativedenver.org

Senior Housing Options

The project: procure outdoor heaters at the Olin Hotel Apartments, 1420 Logan St., to provide comfort to residents who socialize in the outdoor courtyard. The Olin Hotel Apartments provides affordable housing for older adults and individuals with disabilities.

Learn more: seniorhousingoptions.org

CHUN also recognized its Good Neighbor Award recipients during a virtual presentation on Jan. 27.

“These awards give CHUN an opportunity to recognize and show appreciation for the dedication of individuals, nonprofits and businesses who invest their time, talents and resources to move our community forward in a transformational way,” Leiker said in a news release.

2022 Good Neighbor Award recipients

Roger Armstrong Volunteer of the Year Award: Barbara DeJong

Neighborhood Character Award: Castle Lion Development

Tom Knorr Community Leadership Award: Charles Nusbaum

Historic Preservation Award: City Street Investors

Affordable & Accessible Housing Award: Colorado Village Collaborative

Neighborhood Safety Award: Rainbow Alley at The Center on Colfax

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