"Jingles the Elf" starts new charity, helps God's Pantry get grants
Last updated 12/21/2021 at 3:03pm | View PDF
The holidays are not only a time where people think more about goodwill and helping others, but also a time when many need more help than ever. Fountain resident Elizabeth Eagle (also known as "Jingles the Happy Elf") knows this all too well from personal experience.
"Over the last two years, 70 people have died of hypothermia in the Colorado Springs area," Eagle said. "I had a friend freeze to death in his car, and I've been homeless myself, so I know how desperate they can be."
Since 2009, Eagle has volunteered at God's Pantry (located at 30 Widefield Blvd.), providing clothing and food for the needy in Fountain and the Security-Widefield area. Carey Adams manages God's Pantry, which includes a food bank (it cooperates with Care and Share to give away food daily), a thrift store, and a policy to give away 10 free clothing items per family per month. During the holiday season, God's Pantry provides Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets (including a turkey and all the fixings) to those in need. It also collects toys all year to give out during the Christmas season.
Inspired by Adams' example, Eagle started Dare to Care Inc., which became a registered 501(c)3 charity in September. Dare to Care distributes food, hand warmers and other necessities to the homeless; extra items that can't be distributed go to More Than a Meal, the Salvation Army Homeless Shelter and the Springs Rescue Mission.
"I volunteered for Carey for many years, and she was really good to me," Eagle said. "Carey has helped so many people, and given me carloads and carloads of food and clothing that I distribute directly to the homeless."
Like God's Pantry, Dare to Care aims to improve the quality of life for people in need, but with a different focus. Eagle distributes items directly to the homeless, filling a gap that God's Pantry cannot cover.
"The ones that I mostly try to help are the ones that don't go to the shelters, in the tarp cities and in the tent cities, because I think they are the worst off," Eagle said. "It's a question of distribution and supply... Carey helps to distribute as best she can, but she can't reach the level of the people on the streets, she just does not have time to distribute at that level."
Along with volunteering at God's Pantry, Eagle has also helped it get funding. As reported last year ("Fountain resident helps God's Pantry get grant"), Eagle applied at the Fountain Walmart store for a grant on behalf of God's Pantry, and the pantry got $3,500 from it. The same Walmart store approved a $3,000 grant to Dare to Care in November. Dare to Care recently got a $1,750 grant from the Venetucci Walmart store, and Eagle is applying for God's Pantry to get one as well.
The entire staff at God's Pantry is volunteers, and its current income relies solely on donations. At the moment, the pantry needs a new (or lightly used) box truck with low mileage for collecting large items. The current truck makes 8-10 pickups and deliveries per day and has over 272,000 miles on it. Individuals who cannot donate a truck can donate toward God's Pantry buying a new one. To donate, contact [email protected] or call 719-382-0643. To donate money to Dare to Care, go to http://www.daretocare.care. For other donations, call Elizabeth Eagle at (719) 644-0338.