Suzie Boyd’s heart is always with the struggling family facing hunger—it’s all too familiar to her.
“We went through trying times growing up,” said Suzie, co-owner with her husband, Curt, of Academy Roofing, based in Aurora. “It goes way back to when I was a kid. So there’s 12 children in my family … and my dad moved out of the home. My mom was a single mother when there wasn’t such a moniker.”
She remembers local Sister Michael Mary Eagan, S.C., who helped her mom, recalling her visits to their home and the time they received much-needed packages of food left after a nearby train derailment.
“She watched out for us,” Suzie reflected. “They knew my mom was struggling. She wasreally good to my mom. I remember that much.”
She never forgot it. Years later Suzie discovered Sister Eagan was behind Catholic Charities’ Little Flower Assistance Center, the food bank, clothing and job assistance center in Aurora. Sister served as a social worker and director for Catholic Charities and helped at Little Flower with ministering to people facing hunger and homelessness. She also founded the Aurora Housing Authority and was instrumental in developing the Mile High Child Care Association, and later began the first Colorado chapter of SHARE (a food and community network). In 2002, she was honored as Aurora’s ‘Citizen of the Year.’ Sister Eagan died December 13, 2020, at age 93.
“Sister was the precursor to the Little Flower,” Suzie said. “That’s why it is important to us.”
Another connection to the food bank surfaced when Suzie’s children attended school with children of Donna Potter, the longtime program manager of Little Flower.
One year, the Boyds put a new roof on Little Flower and since then they periodically fund the Joy Drive, a collection of toys and crucial items given to needy children in the Aurora area. Their company’s employees will pitch in with volunteering and giving, too. The Boyds also purchase gift cards for seniors through the center.
“My heart is with that group because of what I remember them doing for us,” Suzie said.
Suzie and Curt, who are parishioners of Our Lady of Loreto Church in Foxfield, always tell their children and grandchildren the importance of giving back.
“I feel like that’s what Jesus charged us with is to love another,” she said. “To whom much is given, much is expected in return. That’s very powerful to me.”
The Boyds encourage giving to support families through Little Flower and praise the volunteers who make the work possible.
“I think the mission of Catholic Charities is amazing,” said Suzie.