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Denim Drive runs through Dec. 31 (sponsored)

Date:

Reno Rodeo Foundation is collecting life-changing donations to serve foster kids

The Reno Rodeo Foundation’s (RRF) annual Denim Drive is running now through Dec. 31 for its 17th year of collecting life-changing donations to serve infants, children, and teens in foster care across 14 Northern Nevada counties.

“What most people don’t realize about the Denim Drive is that 100% of all donations go directly to these children,” said Debby Herman, Reno Rodeo Foundation President and Senior VP of Nevada State Bank. “We’ve been supporting the program since its beginning because we understand the amazing impact this makes for children who have experienced the unimaginable.”

When the Denim Drive was established nearly two decades ago, the primary focus was clothing donations; however, when children are removed from their homes they lack basic essentials that extend beyond clothing, such as hygiene products and shoes. The program responded to this need and now prioritizes monetary donations that allow the RRF and their Washoe County Human Services and State of Nevada Division of Child and Family Services partners to use RRF Purchase Cards to purchase items that are targeted towards each child’s specific needs. 

According to social workers and caseworkers, when kids can pick out their own items, it gives them a sense of pride, calms their anxiety from the trauma, boosts their confidence and allows them to express their individual style while teaching them crucial life skills that help them feel normal. It sends a message that someone really cares about them. 

“The feedback we receive from the social workers, case managers and foster parents has exceeded all of our expectations,” said Clara Andriola, Executive Director of the Reno Rodeo Foundation. “Staff on the frontlines have shared how meaningful it is for these abused, neglected and abandoned children to pick out their own clothes. The pure joy and happiness seen on their faces reminds us that the Denim Drive funds a much-needed resource, especially during a time when everything the children know and own has been ripped away from them.”

Since July 2021, 13 rural Nevada counties have been using the RRF Purchase Card program, and this year the process has been incorporated into Washoe County. To meet the needs of foster children across these 14 counties, the 2022 Denim Drive program needs to raise $160,000 – a feat that is accomplished through generous donations and tireless volunteer work.

Although the Denim Drive has evolved from its humble beginnings, the program has never wavered in its mission to provide critical essentials to meet the immediate needs of infants, children, and teens experiencing extraordinary circumstances when they can no longer safely stay with their families. Since 2006, the RRF has donated over $1.5 million to over 200,000 infants, children and teens. Contributions to the drive also benefit foster youth aging out of the system with access to new clothing for employment and educational scholarships.

The RRF relies on the generous contributions from the community to continue their impactful work. Supporters can make a donation to the 17th Annual Denim Drive by texting “Denim Drive” to 44321, calling 775-322-9875 or visiting RenoRodeoFoundation.org. 

Over 100 drop-off locations will be available for new clothing donations. All clothing items collected in a particular county stay in that county and 100% of all financial donations directly benefit the Denim Drive children.

In addition to direct donations, supporters can also purchase a ticket for the Denim Drive raffle to benefit deserving children in foster care. The winner’s package includes a night in the 2023 Reno Rodeo Branding Room for 10 on Saturday, June 17, including dinner, an open bar, live entertainment and Reno Rodeo tickets. The winner will also receive 10 tickets for the K-BULL 98.1 FM Reno Rodeo Kick-Off Concert on Wednesday, June 14 and a beautiful limited-edition Reno Rodeo 2023 Belt Buckle. Tickets can be purchased for $25 each or five tickets for $100. The raffle drawing closes on December 29th and the winner will be announced on Friday, December 30 at 10 a.m. on K-BULL 98.1 FM.

For more information on the raffle, the Denim Drive and the Reno Rodeo Foundation or to make a donation visit RenoRodeoFoundation.org or call 775-322-9875.

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