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Antonja's 2-1-1 Success Story

A Photo of Toys at a Toy Drive

In Need This Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us, a time for joy and giving. Antonja’s holidays were not looking bright. As a single mother caring for her six children and grandson, she didn’t have money for gifts. “My uncle knew I needed help. He told me to call 2-1-1.”

Antonja had received help from 2-1-1 once before when she needed beds for her kids. She was put in touch with the Denver Rescue Mission, a partner of Mile High United Way’s Adult Self Sufficiency Initiative.

For holiday help, 2-1-1 recommended the 4th Annual Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop. In 2007, Jessica Bachus started Dolls for Daughters and created an annual holiday Toy Drive for Colorado children who would not otherwise have toys during the holidays. Dolls for Daughters collects more than 4,000 toys each year.

To attend the event Antonja diligently waited in line for four hours enduring freezing, single-digit temperatures. But she didn’t leave empty handed as she found toys for the kids and received an unexpected surprise. The Food Bank of the Rockies was handing out food boxes at the event, which ensured her family would also have food on the table, at least that night. Antonja admitted that it’s been difficult to provide enough food for her family and recently applied for food stamps.