For the past 30 plus years, Golden resident Donna Mullins has focused her life on preserving and supporting affordable housing for aging adults.
After working in corporate retail design, Mullins realized she wanted her work to feel more meaningful. So, she got involved in the design and development for all forms of housing for older adults and became immersed in Colorado’s aging adult services field. Through networking, she learned of former Brothers Redevelopment President Mary Ann Shing and became intrigued by the fact that the organization had a woman president.
Years would go by, and Mullins’ path would cross with Brothers again around 2010 through Jefferson County’s Aging Well Project — a plan aimed at developing and implementing strategies to create inclusive, livable communities through sustainable partnerships and integrated services. While she oversaw the Housing Workgroup, Brothers staff joined the team and presented its Home Modification and Repair Program to Mullins and the rest of those involved with the Aging Well Project.
“That’s the beginning of me getting to know (Brothers). I hung around and went to some of their events, and I just loved all the things Brothers does,” said Mullins. “They’ve grown so much.”
Mullins is one of dozens of Coloradans who helps to preserve Brothers mission of protecting and preserving affordable housing thanks to the generosity of her and her family. Since 2010, the Mullins family has regularly donated to Brothers. They even have the nonprofit organization listed in their will.
“I’ve just become very interested in helping older adults who don’t have as much money as some who might live in high-end senior housing. I have interest in helping people who need help, and I believe the home environment can make a huge difference in someone’s quality of life,” said Mullins. “I really respect (Brothers) and when it came time for us to think of philanthropy, we determined Brothers was a good place to send some money.”
The Mullins family recently donated $10,000 to Brothers, and the organization suggested that it be used for a mural at Valor on the Fax — an upcoming community Brothers is developing that will house residents with acquired brain injuries. Mullins said she loved the idea.
She applauded the growth Brothers has seen in recent years. In particular, Mullins pointed to the importance of Colorado Housing Connects (1-844-926-6632), because she said many people don’t know where to turn to for housing resources. In 2021, more than 35,000 Coloradans submitted an inquiry to Colorado Housing Connects as evictions rose throughout the year.
Mullins said she would encourage residents to donate to Brothers because it serves all generations of Coloradans, and she feels that the organization has its heart in the right place.
“(Brothers is) mission driven, and they do their work well,” said Mullins.
Coloradans interested in donating to Brothers can do so by visiting https://secure.givelively.org/donate/brothers-redevelopment-inc.
“It’s nice to be affiliated with an organization that does good things for people. There are just so many services that are focused on helping people,” Mullins said. “And it feels like to me that Brothers does it successfully, and they’re just wonderful people. Their enthusiasm — it’s just fun to be part of it.”