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7Everyday Hero: Boulder volunteers give years of service to help families with critically ill kids

Posted at 10:54 AM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 12:54:40-05

Boulder, Colo. — To know bravery and to understand courage is to see it on the faces of critically ill children.

They are the heart and focus of There With Care, a Boulder nonprofit that supports Colorado families with critically ill kids.

Volunteer Marsha Ambraziumas said it's always worth the work when they see the smile on the child's face.

That feeling has kept Ambraziumas and fellow volunteer Monica Butler coming back to help for more than a decade.

"We are an old married couple and we’ve become really good friends during the course of this," Butler joked.

Twice a week, they sort through a mountain of donations to help the more than 180 Colorado families that the nonprofit serves every day.

"Eighty percent of our families are below the poverty line and I personally have seen it," Butler said. "I can say that it does make you feel grateful, but it also helps you understand what they need."

So much of it is simple, like giving families groceries and gas cards, helping with transportation to and from the hospital, and providing therapy to the families. But There With Care does not use a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, the nonprofit works directly with social workers to pinpoint each family's needs.

There With Care Co-founder Paula DuPre’ Pesmen said sometimes the most overwhelming things are the day-to-day stuff that most other people take for granted.

"Food, diapers, housecleaning, transportation to the hospital — all those things are really big when one parent has to quit their job to take care of a sick child," she said.

They're taking care of the small stuff and giving families the real gift — time to be together.

"It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to help out people who are in the community that are in need and it makes you grateful, extremely grateful," Ambraziumas said.

Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.