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Hometown Heroes Step Up To Help First Responders and Support Local Businesses In Time of Crisis


SECORCares revamped distribution efforts to continue to help meet the needs of the community. The food bank offered services via a drive-through and saw double the families, according to CEO Dennis Gorton. “Our primary focus right now is making sure that needy families who are struggling with food insecurity and do not have groceries are getting the food that they need.” 

"We’re going to be here no matter what and we’re going to continue to take care of families no matter what," Dennis says.

Consider Donating Blood

If you are well, please consider donating blood at this time, says Brooke Way, marketing and communications specialist at Vitalant, formerly Bonfils Blood Center. 
“Right now we’ve seen a drop in donations across the nation because of the coronavirus and we need to make sure that our patients have the blood that they need to survive," Brooke says.

Vitalant blood center has implemented extra precautions across all its locations, including the Parker location at 10259 S. Parker Rd. Suite 104, which has included extra cleaning measures and taking donors' temperatures outside of facilities before being allowed to enter.

“We’re doing as much as we can. We do want to make sure that those people that are giving their time to come in and donate blood, that they’re safe and healthy,” Brooke says.

Doug's Burritos

Doug's Day Diner, located on the street level at The Laszlo Hotel in Parker, handed out free breakfast burritos to frontline healthcare works. Reach Doug's Day Diner Parker at 720-476-7162 or on Facebook @DougsDinerParker.

Mask Donations

Dena Mehling began sewing and donating cloth face covers at the request of a physician friend and created a Facebook group in the hopes of getting a few others to help.

The Parker resident's Facebook group, Dena's Mask Making Army, soon had 1,000 members, who were making and donating masks for front-line workers and all essential health care and non-health care workers. "We are primarily distributing in the metro Denver and extended Colorado area but have sent masks to some facilities in the hardest-hit areas of the country," Dena says.

As of press, Dena's Mask Making Army has donated over 10,500 masks. "It's shown me a sense of community that I hadn't felt before," Dena says. "It has shown me that one person may not be able to save the world but can make a huge difference in it."

Rise Up

Just over a year ago, Holly Haan started a group on Facebook in the hopes of helping a friend of hers who was opening a pizza restaurant in getting extra exposure.  The group, Parker Food and Drink, not only assisted this restaurant but allowed restaurateurs throughout Parker and Elizabeth to promote their businesses, specials and events and has grown to over 6,000 followers. 

Last month, Holly, along with many, was laid off amidst the COVID-19 crisis and realized that with her extra time and the strong community she had built online; she could be making an even bigger impact. 

There was no shortage in community support after her initial plea to the group’s members to donate to her newly formed “Rise Up” campaign which not only supports the local restaurants that have been forced to only serve their patrons via curbside pickup and delivery, but also feeds the selfless medical workers on the front lines.  As of the time this article went to print, the “Rise Up” initiative has made nine deliveries to Parker Adventist, supporting nine different local restaurants (some of whom have donated the food in addition to deliveries funded by donations from the group) and provided more than an estimated 450 meals to health workers.  Additionally, families and Girl Scouts alike have donated countless treats to staff and local Fire Departments. 

To donate or learn more about their continued efforts, join the group Parker Food and Drink on Facebook! 

Sanitizer Saviors

For almost two decades, OraLabs in Parker has mass-produced personal hygiene products such as hand sanitizer, lip balm, toothpaste, and more.

Its CEO Gary Schlatter got a call from Noel Ginsburg, who is a point person on Gov. Jared Polis’ newly formed Innovation Response Team Task Force, which will work with the state to secure much-needed supplies and protective equipment for hospitals and state agencies.

In just a week, OraLabs shifted production to fill the state’s needs, which includes making at least 20,000 personal bottles of hand sanitizer per day.

The sanitizer will wind up in the hands of people on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. So far, Children’s Hospital Colorado and Angel Flight, a local nonprofit that helps arrange air travel for children and adults with serious medical conditions, have received shipments.

 “I’m just glad that we were able to fulfill the need of the state and take care of our community,” he said. “That’s really the most important thing for us.”

Schlatter said he’s been impressed by all of the companies working with the governor’s task force so far. Currently, others are developing test kits, making medical face shields, and creating other protective equipment for health care workers.

Hospitals, police departments, fire departments, senior centers, state, city & county agencies, universities and critical care businesses can inquire about personal-size hand sanitizer bottles by sending an email to

Courtesy of CBS4

We'd love to hear from you. Let us know what your business or organization is doing in the wake of the pandemic to help our community or adapt to new times. Email or visit and click Contact Us.

  • Dena Mehling of Parker
  • Dena Mehling Making Masks