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The Season of Giving: Nonprofit Spotlight

Manna Resource Center's Board Chair, Heather Kelly, Shares Her Background and Shines a Light on Suburban Poverty

In mid-2020 I crossed paths with Erin White, now the Executive Director of Manna Resource Center while addressing the pressing human service needs within our local community. I was profoundly impressed by the remarkable program she and her colleagues had cultivated with the support of Cherry Hills Community Church and CrossPurpose, a workforce development non-profit in Denver, to initiate a pioneering program aimed at mitigating suburban poverty.

As a fellow Christian, I eagerly embraced the opportunity to contribute to a program that wholeheartedly welcomed any member of our community that was in need. I came aboard in part to help Manna attain 501(c)3 nonprofit status. Since incorporating in late 2020, I have held the position of Board Chair.

The challenge of comprehending suburban poverty is not uncommon, as many wonder how affluent communities can still harbor struggling families. It is important to note that nearly 10 percent of our community, comprising 30,000 individuals, is at risk of poverty, abuse, isolation, and homelessness. Furthermore, the stigma associated with poverty in a prosperous community can further isolate families.

Manna's purpose is to break cycles, transform lives, and strengthen families and the community. Since its establishment in 2020, MRC has expanded its services to cater to more families, offering assistance to 558 households since its inception. MRC programs provide social services, community support and connections, and mental health services to families in need primarily in Douglas County.

MRC’s impact is best conveyed through the words of our clients:

"When I joined Manna, I was homeless and battling addiction. Today, I am sober and running my own small business." – Manna Connect Graduate

Manna owes much to the invaluable partnerships with key community organizations. The Douglas County Department of Human Services, Catholic Charities, and the unwavering support of Cherry Hills Community Church have laid the foundation for MRC's work.

Corporate partners have also played a pivotal role as many recognized the significance of suburban poverty in the community. One notable example is Dana Keller, an active MRC volunteer and VP of Sales and Marketing at Koelbel and Co. As she describes the partnership, “In keeping with our commitment to strengthen our community, we are honored to support the Manna Resource Center’s mission to transform lives."

Want to learn more or get involved?  We would love to connect with you, email us at:

Heather Kelly, Board Chair, Manna Resource Center

Manna Resource Center has three core programs that accomplish the goal of strengthening individuals and families in our community: Manna Connect, the Family Center of Douglas County and Manna Community Wellness.

1) Manna Connect

Manna Connect is a personal development program that provides participants with community, coaching, and career skill advancement as they identify and overcome barriers to self-sufficiency and wholeness.

2) The Family Center of Douglas County 

The Family Center of Douglas County ​is a partnership of Catholic Charities of Central Colorado and Manna Resource Center. We strive to connect family members to community resources.  Our goal is to help families strengthen and sustain healthy relationships and achieve greater stability.

3) Manna Community Wellness

Manna Community Wellness offers individual and family psychotherapy sessions for participants in the Manna Connect and Family Center programs. Our aim is to support the overall health and wellbeing of participants as they pursue their goals.