Tanya Burks is "building a giving society"
In early 2021, when volunteerism was at an all time low, Tanya Burks (Rocky Mountain Region Acquisition Director) was actively serving her community. She filled over 150 hygiene necessities bags for the homeless on Valentine’s Day. These “love bags'' were handed out to men, women and children at and around the Denver Rescue Mission. Burks was overwhelmed with emotion from their gratitude and decided she wanted to do more. She continued filling and handing out bags throughout 2021 and into 2022.
Then in May of 2022, Burks officially started Building a Giving Society (BAGS)!“I wanted a name that was catchy and of course that meant something to me. All of a sudden it came to me. I was known for donating items in bags to various communities,” said Burks. “After a fun brainstorming session, the name Building A Giving Society (BAGS) was born.” The mission of BAGS is to have a positive impact on underserved communities by fostering a spirit of giving. “BAGS is a boots on the ground organization focused on year-round efforts to support the community specifically in the “off season” when assistance is needed the most,” said Burks.
Burks credits her philanthropic nature to her parents who taught her volunteerism at a young age.“They always talked about the importance of giving back and that the most precious gift is the gift of time,” she recalled. Burks has spent much of her adult-life doing just that, giving of her time and resources to support underserved communities. She was a member of Smart Girls, a non-profit organization that worked closely with middle school age girls on etiquette, hygiene and confidence. She’s currently a change agent with the Denver Rescue Mission where she volunteered in many areas for over 12 years. Additionally, Burks volunteered and supported other worthy organizations including Florence Critton High School for teen moms and the Colorado Crisis Center, previously known as the Battered Women’s Shelter.
She’s also helped with many GSA philanthropic efforts over her 20 plus years at the agency. Most recently, she helped with the 2022 holiday season toy drive benefiting the local Denver Boys and Girls club. In the past, Burks volunteered with different GSA teams to assemble boxes of food at the Volunteers of America food pantry and the Region 8 Black Employee Program (BEP) to serve meals at the Denver Rescue Mission and gather food for the BEP’s annual Thanksgiving food baskets that are donated to several deserving families in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas.
Tanya, thank you for being a change-maker and building a giving society! You are an inspiration to many.