Editor's Note

If you think the Denver VOICE looks different this month, you’re right. To make our holiday issue extra special this year, we’ve included a pullout wrapping paper section in the center of the paper. But don’t worry, you’ll still find our regular content nestled among the snowmen and flowers.

On page 4 we’ve collected some essays from VOICE vendors about their holiday memories. Longtime vendor Raelene Johnson writes about how difficult the holidays can be for someone experiencing homelessness. The holidays are a difficult time for many people, both housed and unhoused.

And yet, the holidays are also a wonderful time, again for both housed and unhoused people. Just below Raelene’s essay on page 4 is an essay by VOICE vendor Ann Bitela. Ann describes her happiest holiday memory—which just happens to have taken place on Christmas Eve at Samaritan House, an overnight shelter in Denver. That night was memorable for Ann because of a fantastic display of generosity. 

People are more likely to volunteer their time and make charitable donations during the holidays. This is something Denver resident and Survivor cast member Kenneth McNickle reflects on in an interview on page 5. Kenneth runs a nonprofit called the Humane Kind Project, and through this organization, he frequently hears stories about people experiencing homelessness who receive more charity than they can carry on Christmas Day. Kenneth urges anyone motivated to volunteer or donate during the holidays to take that time instead to commit to something in winter or in early spring when nonprofits are often desperate for help.

Whatever good cheer comes your way this month, we sincerely hope it lasts you well into 2017. Happy December from all of us at the Denver VOICE. ■ 

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