2019 Aspen Cares Philanthropy Wrap Up

Beyond our passion for serving our students, we enjoy giving back to our communities and other organizations that provide critical services and experiences. 

Aspen University philanthropy program, Aspen Cares, has supported literacy, homeless populations, Alzheimer’s awareness and fundraising, pets, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and other issues that affect our communities. 

“Working together, our employees share time, talent, and treasure by caring for the communities in which we live. This connection of caring and kindness allows us to have a deeper connection and appreciation of the things that are most important in our lives,” says Jennifer Swenson, VP of Human Resources, who has helped organize Aspen Cares into what it is today.

aspen university

Arizona BSN Pre-Licensure Campus:

Aspen CaresInternational Service Learning

In March 2019, Aspen University’s Director of Clinical Simulation, Tammy Drewett — along with 5 Aspen University nursing students — traveled to Puerto Penasco, Mexico, on a 6-day mission trip [pictures].

Tammy, Karlisa, Shelby, Aida, Hayley, and Katelyn* worked alongside physician assistant (PA) students from Boston to help serve a poverty-stricken area in rural Mexico. They toured the neighborhoods to talk to locals and invite them to free clinics.


Arizona Team:

Children First Foundation

The Children First Foundation is dedicated to helping children at or below the poverty line with or without homes get the same education and support as other children. Our Phoenix employees gave generously with a back-to-school and food drive.

Over 1,000 items of clothing, hygiene, healthcare products, and food was collected valued at $3,000. The donations will go directly to local children in need!


Arizona Humane Society

On December 6, several members of Aspen University participated in the Humane Society’s Kitten Crafts volunteer event making no-sew blankets and toys for the shelter’s kitty residents.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Smile Makers Program

In October, several employees spent time walking through the hospital waiting areas, hallways, and lunchrooms bringing smiles and handing toys out to children who were waiting to see a doctor or waiting for a family member. It was a heartwarming experience!


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Ozanam Manor Home-In-A-Box Drive

aspen university aspen cares veteransThe Ozanam Manor “Home-in-a-Box” drive provides a box of bare essentials for transitioning Veterans. They are transitioning from being homeless to having a place to call home. They are helped with counseling, food, hygiene, work training, and so much more. This box is essential in assisting them in their new life.

Each Home-in-a-Box contained the following:

Kitchen towels, Pot holders, Dishes, Utensils, Cups, Cutting board and knife, Pots and pans, Dish drainer, Can opener, Dish soap, Blanket, Bath towel, Wash cloth, Small trash can, Shower curtain and rings, Toilet paper, Alarm clock, Hangers, Dust pan and brush, Laundry soap, and Light bulbs.

AGI Cares Arizona had a goal of 2 full Home-in-a-Box donations. As a group, Aspen put together over 10 full Home-in-a-Box sets!

St. Vincent de Paul Adopt-a-Family Christmas Program

Adopt-a-Family allows individuals, families, and organizations to “adopt” families in the area by providing Christmas gifts and meals. In December, Aspen Cares adopted the Camacho family.

Making Strides of Phoenix

On October 26, employees participated in a Breast Cancer Walk at Tempe Beach Park.


Colorado Team:

Colorado Pet Pantry Donation Drive

In November, we held a drive to collect pet food and treats. The Colorado Pet Pantry is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of serving the Denver/Boulder areas by ensuring that all families in the neighborhood have the resources to feed their pets, keeping them out of shelters.

Denver Rescue Mission

On December 11, Denver employees volunteered for Kitchen prep at the Denver Rescue Mission. We prepped for dinner and breakfast that will feed the approximate 300 people and families transitioning from homelessness to their shelter.

Reach Out and Read Drive

We held a drive to collect children’s books. Reach Out and Read Colorado partners with health care providers to encourage families with young children to read aloud together, building a foundation for success. Reach Out and Read Colorado empowers health care providers to talk with parents of young children about the importance of reading aloud at health check-ups with a particular focus on children growing up in poverty.

We collected 1 full box of books.

Toys for Tots

In December, employees volunteered at a Toys for Tots warehouse where they sorted and bagged over 1,000 toys to be delivered to children ages 0-12.  



NYC Team:

Grand Central Neighborhood Social Services Corporation

Through October, our New York City employees donated toiletries, food, and clothing to Grand Central Neighborhood Social Services Corporation, a homeless shelter that offers housing assistance, treatment referrals, and employment services. 

We collected 15lbs of items.

The Longest Day

On June 20, New York employee, Sam Boone, participated in The Longest Day (Alzheimer’s Association) on behalf of Aspen Cares. The Longest Day is the day with the most light — the summer solstice. On this day, thousands of participants come together to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through an activity of their choice. Together, they use their creativity and passion to raise funds and awareness for the care, support, and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Sam raised $320.

FACES (Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures)

FACES (Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures) — a cause near and dear to NYC employee Noel Simsiman’s heart — hosts an annual carnival day called Game Day tailored for epileptic children and their families at Chelsea Piers in NYC. These children spend an afternoon of fun with carnival games, arts and crafts, athletic activities, and even partaking in a Halloween costume contest.

Noel lead a team of volunteers at the registration table as they checked in over 350 attendees. 




What’s next for 2020? 

The teams plan to repeat some events each year, such as collecting items for animal shelters and adopting families for Christmas. Jennifer adds, “Over the next year, our goal is to create a calendar of employee-driven community activities at all of our primary locations with a focus on families, children, veterans, and animals in need.”





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