In Colorado, Jewish workers fill in for hundreds on Christmas

Posted at 7:21 PM, Dec 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-25 21:21:25-05
photo by CBS4 Denver

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Hundreds of workers are spending Christmas with their families thanks to a Jewish group donating its time.

The nonprofit organization, JEWISHcolorado, sent out hundreds of volunteers Tuesday to more than a dozen hospitals, retirement centers and community projects around the Denver metro area.

Shalom Park, a senior living facility in Aurora, was one of 14 sites that received assistance.

Thirty Shalom employees were able to take the holiday off.

Dolores Pugh, who has lived at the center for four years, enjoyed Christmas playing games led by the volunteers.

She said that the 25 visitors made her holiday bright.

“They’re wonderful,” Pugh told Denver-based CBS4.

Jay Strear, a rabbi and volunteer with JEWISHColorado, said “Christmas Mitzvah” is an annual tradition. Close to 500 people fill in for workers to provide relief every Christmas. The 2018 holiday marks the project’s 23rd year in operation.

“On a day in which the non-Jewish world is celebrating the most holy day, it’s an opportunity for us to… uplift others’ day of celebration,” Strear said.

“It’s very important (for staff) to have today off to be with their family,” said Marc Penner, C.E.O. of Shalom Park. “We are so blessed to have all of these volunteers here today.”

“They’re fun, and I enjoy them,” Pugh added.


Story by CBS Denver