In 2014, Forbes Magazine named Douglas County the 8th richest county in the nation. With more than 3100 counties making up the collective United States, this statistic puts Douglas county in the 0.002% of the nation whose average annual household income is greater than $105,000. That being said, Douglas County is also home to thousands of families and individuals who don’t fall into this tax bracket, and ultimately face struggles that cannot be seen through the wealth of the county. With over 250 volunteers, numerous partner organizations, and a community of generous people, the Douglas/ Elbert Task Force provides help and hope to families and individuals, facing trials that the statistics fail to recognize.

Founded in 1984, the DE Task Force is designed to serve families and individuals who find themselves in crisis. “There are unfortunately hundreds, if not thousands of our neighbors who have basic emergent needs.” explained Executive Director, Kurt Kaczor. In 2014, the task force provided $1,148,804 in services to 15,519 people in need. With a rich history of serving the community for over 30 years, they have a number of ways that allow the community to participate in their philanthropic service.IMG_0448

Now located in their Park Street building, all of their programs are on site in one location. “It’s a threefold-purpose,” explained Kaczor. The DE Task Force has a donation drop off, where people throughout the community can drop off gently used clothing, household goods, toys, and electronics. They also have a food bank drop off, where each year, over 80% of their clients are able to receive food from the generous donations of others. They resell donated items to the general public in the attached thrift shop, “Treasures on Park Street.” Then their Client Services has the opportunity to help people in the community to receive basic essentials from both the food bank as well as the collection of clothing and items.

The Client Services facility is a pleasant safe haven for families in a “tough spot.” Client Advocates are welcoming, and work directly with clients to serve their immediate needs. “This can be anything from helping with rental assistance, to getting food from our food bank located on site, to helping to get a birth certificate, or ID’s,” detailed Kaczor. They also have what they call the “Birthday Room,” where they store brand new, unopened toys. Parents in need are able to pick out a toy for either their child’s birthday, or for their child to take to a birthday party and gift to a friend.

IMG_0449The DE Task Force has been committed to providing opportunities for people in the community to serve and be served for more than three decades. Their vision is to care for those in the community and ultimately keep our neighbors from becoming homeless, and keep people afloat during difficult seasons. Volunteers at the DE Task Force are full of smiles and energy, and their love for people and the work of the mission is evident in the way they handle their volunteer duties.

Whether it’s making a donation, offering your time, or receiving help for yourself, the DE task force is a valued partner in the community. Visit them at 1638 Park Street, Castle Rock, CO 80109.