Little Flower Thrives with Support from Community-Backed Organizations

“I haven’t seen anything like the demand we have now in the 40 years I’ve been working here,” said Donna Potter, supervisor at Little Flower Assistance Center in Aurora. “The need is tremendous.” Little Flower, a Catholic Charities powerhouse, clothing closet and resource center, serves over 2,000 families each month, providing not only essential resources like food and clothing but also community assistance and employment support. This effort is made possible throughout the year through a range of partnerships from local parishes to the City of Aurora. In late November, contributions from the Black 14, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Salvation Army and other dedicated organizations filled the center with much-needed items to share with the community.

Catholic Charities’ partnership with the Black 14 goes back many years and is a favorite for everyone who encounters members of the team who volunteer their time, talent and treasures to support community organizations. Members of the 1969 University of Wyoming football team came to be known as the Black 14 when they decided to wear black armbands to take a stand against racism during a football game with Brigham Young University. The members were kicked off the team but stood strong in their convictions. Fast forward many decades later and members of the group evolved that passion into a commitment to support their hometowns.  Denver’s own Black 14 member John Griffin reflects on the journey. “We had no idea what to do. We were 14 kids turned into adults in five minutes.” Today, Griffin, along with organizations like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Salvation Army play a crucial role in turning challenges into champions.

Donna and the entire Catholic Charities team expresses gratitude for the diverse sources of support. “Without community resources, we could not survive. We get a lot of food from the Food Bank of the Rockies and discounted food from Safeway and King Soopers, but that’s still not enough. Community partnerships, such as those with the Black 14 and the Latter-day Saints Church, which donates 40,000 pounds of food, help us serve our neighbors.”

“Our goal is to talk to each participant and not just shove them out. We want to hear their stories and let them know about all available resources, such as our senior low-income affordable housing,” shared Potter “Little Flower is not merely a food distribution center. It’s a community hub that prioritizes understanding and connecting with those in need.”

“Collaboration and teamwork make all the difference. That’s where all the magic comes from—bringing the best of what we have to offer and sharing it with others,” says Jane Smith from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Potter emphasizes that every contribution, whether from the Black 14 or any other supporter, keeps Little Flower running. “We’re appreciative of anyone who takes an interest in the Little Flower because donations keep us running.”

This ministry stands as a testament to what can be achieved when diverse organizations and individuals unite for a common cause. As John Griffin aptly puts it, “This isn’t about the Black 14. This is about doing the right thing—helping others is the right thing and we hope that’s what the 40,000 pounds of food will do.” This food will not only make a big impact at the Little Flower Assistance Center but to many other partners such as the Salvation Army, Denver Rescue Mission, our very own Catholic Charities Housing and so many more organizations. “This food is shared with thousands of people, all throughout Colorado, at a time right now where so many families are really struggling to make ends meet.”


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