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Volunteer organizes the Giving Wreath

Posted at 8:11 AM, Dec 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-21 10:33:37-05
For Christians, the Advent Wreath is not only a symbol of Christmas but of the contrast between darkness and light. 
 
7Everyday Hero Monica Mogen is using a wreath to spread light and joy to those less fortunate. 
 
Every Christmas season a meeting hall inside the Our Lady of Loreto Catholic Parish in Aurora fills with large trash bags.
 
"The big sacks are the sacks that go to the families," said parish volunteer Mary Lou Vasquez.  
 
Every bag is overflowing with new clothes and toys for those less fortunate. 
 
"Each sack is filled with whatever the child's wishes were. We call this the giving wreath," said Monica Mogen. 
 
Mogen organized the Giving Wreath since 2001. 
 
It is an outreach of Our Lady of Loreto Catholic Parish. 
 
"I just want to see every child have a gift," said Mogen. 
 
Parishioners pick a child's name from the Giving Wreath and donate Christmas gifts. 
 
Volunteers sort the gifts, and the parish's school kids help load them up for delivery. 
 
But it is Mogen who has organized the effort for nearly 15 years. 
 
"She has helped so many families over the years and those families don't know who their angel is," said Vasquez. 
 
The Giving Wreath has blossomed under Mogen's watch. 
 
She used to run it out of her home. 
 
"We turned our garage into the collection place," said Mogen. 
 
Back then 50 families were served. 
 
Today, more than 800 families, many with several children, benefit from the Giving Wreath. 
 
"God says in the Bible the poor will always be with us and that's our job to serve the poor," said Vasquez. 
 
"I love it. I like helping other people," added Mogen.
 
After years of spreading light and joy at Christmas, Monica Mogen is handing over the reigns of the project. 
 
But not before Denver 7 could recognize her as a 7Everyday Hero. 
 
Mitch Jelniker anchors 7NEWS Now in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on 7NEWS. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everday Hero here thedenverchannel.com/nominate-7everyday-hero.