Cy DeBoer’s humor is endearing and hilarious. Her unusual life experiences are inspiring, as you will discover reading Ruby’s Trust.
“God gave me a sense of humor, because ‘He knew the plans he had for me. I asked for good hair and a beautiful singing voice–let’s just say He had other ideas.’”
Cy DeBoer is a published author, columnist, and speaker with an inspiring message. She is also the founder of Bin Blessed, a charity that provides assistance to There With Care in their effort to serve families experiencing the stress of a medical crisis with a child.
Cy and her husband have two adult children, and two grandchildren. They live in Castle Rock, Colorado.
From Avid Lifestyle Magazine
by Claire Martin
For Cy DeBoer, philanthropy looks like a green 72-quart plastic storage container.
But instead of storing seasonal décor, her tub waits on the porch of her Castle Pines home for donations of diapers, shelf-stable food, paper towels and other basics for families with critically ill children.
She is the founder of the nonprofit Bin Blessed, which gives its donations to There With Care, a Boulder-based foundation that helps the families of children with serious illnesses. “We donʼt take any money. Itʼs all goods and services and gift cards,” DeBoer says. “If someone leaves a package of diapers, those diapers will be on a baby in less than two weeks.”
DeBoer put out her first Bin Blessed tub when she was living in Littleton and involved with The Gathering Place, a day shelter for transgender individuals, women and children experiencing poverty. People who knew about her work there often asked what they could do, and she thought in-kind donations might appeal to people too busy to volunteer. So, she passed out flyers listing shelter-goersʼ needs and where her neighbors could drop off the provisions. Almost immediately, her tub started filling with household supplies. People began asking about hosting tubs at their own homes.
Word spread, and in 2015, after the DeBoers had moved to Texas and then back here to Castle Pines, green Bin Blessed containers began appearing on front porches in Castle Pines North, Castle Pines Village, Castle Rock, Glenmoor, Lone Tree, Denver, Boulder, Stapleton, the Highlands, Littleton and Parker.
Once a month, their contents are collected by women—golf partners, Bunco buddies, Bible study group members—known as Bin Babes. Besides collecting basic supplies for There With Careʼs offices in Denver and Boulder, they assemble themed monthly surprise bags or backpacks for families in need, filled with gifts and treats that the Bin Babes personally provide. DeBoer estimates Bin Blessed has donated roughly $500,000 in goods and services over the past five years.
“We think of the siblings and parents as well as the critically ill children
because their lives are turned upside down, too,” DeBoer says.
“Bin Blessed has touched almost every family we serve in one way or another,” says Mellenie Goebel, Denver development director of There With Care.
Goebel approximates that the organization provides at least 50 special bags or backpacks a month to families, rotating between 160 recipients. (Hospital support coordinators and social workers identify the families who most need the extra TLC.)
She continues: “Theyʼve helped collect coats during November, and put together backpacks for school-aged kiddos. They really add a level of compassionate care. Families in medical crises need normalcy added to their lives, and the Bin Babes have a deep impact.
WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
❍ jars of peanut butter
❍ jars of jelly and jam
❍ boxed cereal
❍ macaroni and cheese
❍ sweet and salty snacks
(like granola bars, popcorn, crackers, pudding cups and other lunch box treats)
(including very small sizes for prematurely born infants)
❍ baby wipes
BIN BLESSED ALSO ALWAYS NEEDS:
❍ new or gently used baby clothing
(“Something you would let your child or grandchild wear,” DeBoer says.)
❍ baby bath toys
❍ teething rings
❍ baby bath towels
❍ baby washcloths
❍ baby blankets
❍ bouncy seats
❍ portable playpens
❍ toilet paper
❍ paper towels
❍ puzzles and games
(for siblings to play at the hospital)
❍ gas cards
❍ supermarket gift cards
by Nancy Koontz
Hometown: Born in Denver, grew up in Pueblo
Resident: Castle Rock
Education: Life-Long Student
Profession: Published Writer & Philanthropist
Status: Married to Attorney, Bruce DeBoer
Family: Two Sons: Ryan & Luke; Two Grandchildren: Harbour & Chase
Awards: Governor’s Award from the State of Texas for Charitable Work (when the DeBoers lived in Texas); honored by “There With Care”; Bruce DeBoer has been recognized by the “Denver Business Journal”
Story by: Nancy Koontz
She’s a wife, mother, grandmother, published author, columnist, and inspirational speaker; and aside from all of her accomplishments, she’s just like all of us who have had challenges in our lives. Cy DeBoer is also the founder and voice for “Bin Blessed,” a charity which provides assistance to struggling families with sick children by collecting needed items so they can just make it day-to-day. Cy calls many of her dedicated volunteers “Bin Babes!“
“Bin Blessed” (five years strong now) keeps bins on the DeBoer’s front porch for people to drop off needed items (like diapers, clothing, food, back-packs, etc.), and then the collected goods/donations are given to the charity “There With Care” which gives them to families whose children are being treated for serious illnesses. (Bins are also available on the porches of Cy’s “Bin Babes.”) These families are experiencing stress and expenses that come along with a medical crisis. The staff and volunteers of “There With Care” serve these families from a place in their hearts as they get to know them well.
Cy, who has loved to write since she was a child, has published several books, “Ruby’s Trust” in 2019 (from one of the reviews): “The true story of a woman who lost faith, and then faith found her again. Cy takes readers on an unforgetable journey, ultimately revealing a side of homelessness many people have never seen.” In 1997, Cy published “Take a Woman’s Word for It – The Dictionary According to Women.” Both books are available on Amazon.com.
Cy and her husband Bruce DeBoer were recently honored by “There With Care” at their virtual event “Barefoot on the Red Carpet.” “There With Care” board member, Anne Trujillo, anchor for Denver Channel 7 News, and one of our favorite “Have You Mets” remarked: “Cy & Bruce, you are such a gift to this organization!”
The DeBoer’s involvement in charitable giving is far-reaching. They were part of creating the nonprofit “The Gathering Place”…. a daytime shelter for homeless women and children.
Cy’s incredible spirit is part of her everyday essence. Her charitable work is rewarding and helps her celebrate and embrace humanity. With her compasionate soul and deep caring for others, Cy has made a favorable impression by speaking from the heart and putting her experiences (and humor) in her writing and speaking engagements. Her beliefs are rooted in her faith, and with it, she has helped many realize their full potential.
As long as it makes others happy and well, Cy finds joy and fullfillment in her uplifting, powerful work. Still…the De Boers remain humble. They will continue to positively brighten their community through their hands-on giving and helping those who are left behind.
What is your most lasting childhood memory?
Taking long road trips in a station wagon. My parents apparently didn’t realize the Wright Brothers had invented another form of transportation to get from Pueblo, Colorado to Disneyland.
The trip involved constant declarations by my father that “we were making good time”, my mother with a gigantic map unfurled across her lap, my being carsick since we left our driveway and my sister and brother using me as buffer between them so they wouldn’t have to touch one another. Did I mention we didn’t have air-conditioning, seatbelts or the will to live by the time we reached Colorado border?
What piqued your interest in philanthropy?
My mother’s influence is profound regarding my interest in helping others. She infused me with the desire to think what a “walk in someone else’s shoes” might feel like. At a very young age, I witnessed the true spirit of giving. I devoted a whole chapter in my book, Ruby’s Trust, to my mother because she lived a life that proved it is better to give than receive.
Have you exceeded your own expectations for your goals and vision?
Honestly, it is the people in my life that have exceeded my expectations. When we started “Bin Blessed” with just a few kind-hearted women, the success of our simple mission has far exceeded anything I envisioned. I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to strive to be a faithful Christian, a good wife, mother, grandmother and friend…. the joy of these has far exceeded my expectations.
Since my childhood dreams of becoming a prima ballerina…or the queen of anything, I never set strict goals for myself. I probably meant to, but I am a procrastinator. As my life has had so many twists and turns, and more than a few punches I’ve had to roll with, it may be a good thing. This is embarrassing to admit, but I have never set goals or had a vision for myself. I have just been living life as it unfolds. I have had many life experiences that had I known they were coming, I would have pulled the covers over my head in an effort to hide. However, as I look back on them, I know had I not gone through them I would never have founded Bin Blessed, or become a writer.
What are your thoughts about social media? Is it valuable to you?
I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love that it has given people a way to connect with friends and loved ones. It has been very valuable to me in marketing my book and developing a network for Bin Blessed. But I hate that it can be abused to such an extent that many people, especially teens and children can be wounded or demolished by words. The old adage that “Sticks and Stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is a great untruth.
What do you believe is your greatest strength?
My sense of humor, I always say I wish God had given me a beautiful singing voice or even a few good hair days, but knowing the life He had planned for me, a sense of humor has been far more useful. My first book, Take a Woman’s Word for It, a dictionary for women. I redefined over 1100 words from A to Z. It is an illuminating book for misunderstood women and the men who misunderstand them.
Cellulite: French for hail damage.
Exchange: Excellent method for perpetuating the shopping experience indefinitely.
Incoherent: Husband’s response when wife says “I’d like to talk about us”. Luxury: Being alone in the bathroom.
Missle: The salt shaker you asked your son to pass at the dinner table. Travel: The alternative to having children.
It must take a lot of energy to be you. What do you do to relax & make sure you get plenty of rest? Relax. Hmmm. I like the concept, just haven’t figured out how to implement it. I am a very disorganized person, so the time one might ordinarily use to relax, I use to find a pair of socks that match, or my phone, or the other earring, or my keys, or my purse or. . .
Since you and Bruce have been married for a while, what do you believe is the secret to “wedded bliss?”
My parents called me Cyclone, hence the name Cy. The day Bruce married me, he walked head-on into the storm. Our “wedded bliss” is totally due to his ability to weather and calm the storm. He supports all my causes both emotionally and financially and is the true philanthropist in the family. However, the greatest reason we have been joyfully married for many years is based on our strong faith in the Lord.
What do you like to do most with your family?
We love being with our two grandchildren, Harbour and Chase. (We like our adult children too) but anyone who has grandchildren knows that nothing trumps playing with the Grands. We are so blessed to have them living in Denver.
Describe a typical weekend at the De Boer home?
The only constant in our weekends is that Bruce golfs. I don’t say this as if it were a bad thing, I sleep in and wait for him to take me to lunch.
What is your favorite neighborhood restaurant?
I love every restaurant… I don’t do well in the kitchen. If we ever sell our home we can list the kitchen appliances as new.
Is there another book in the works?
I have started working on a couple. I don’t want to research anything, so I have to write about what I know. I have one of those “you should write a book” histories, but should I really? I would have to change the names of the characters and they would still know who they are! Seriously, I am working on one about friendships, the working title is “LUNCH”. I used to write a weekly humor column and I would enjoy doing that again.
Are you still getting many invitations to speak about your experiences?
Due to Covid, my invitations have been to Zoom. I am “zoomed” out. I had several engagements on the calendar prior to the need for social distancing. My book was released September 2019. It was doing well and I was enjoying the opportunity to tell Ruby’s and my story. My reason for writing the book, was to encourage the reader to look at people differently. Ruby was homeless, her brother was serving a life sentence in prison, I was living a blessed existence in suburbia…yet we found a way to see past our differences and trust our hearts to bridge the gap and become dear friends.
Contact me if you would like me to speak to your group.
How do we get our younger generations interested in volunteering and giving?
Just as my mother did for me, my husband and I wanted to show them—not tell them. Our actions as parents and grandparents often influence their choices. I took my young children with me to the Gathering Place to read to children, deliver items they needed, serve lunches and give Christmas gifts. We collected through bins on our front porch items for people in need. These days it brings me such joy when the Bin Babes (our self-proclaimed title as members of Bin Blessed) get together to assemble gift bags, Halloween bags, back packs etc. and our younger members bring their children to help. They are developing their hearts for giving. It is wonderful!
What wisdom have you learned in the (let’s say) last 8 months through this pandemic?
Don’t wear lipstick.
Do you have a favorite saying or motto?
“I can’t do everything, but I can do something.”
What can we all do to make our world a better place for everyone to co-exist?
If we could all just realize life is not about YOU! I would love for everyone to read Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life book. Stop reading self-help and start helping someone besides ourselves. It will change your life.
How do you feel about all you have accomplished?
Surprised! I never feel I’ve accomplished anything in particular. I do feel I have been blessed with the ability to encourage others to use their gifts to accomplish things. I am convinced that most people want to give, they just want to know their giving is going to a good and legitimate cause. It also helps to make it simple. That’s why Bin Blessed has successfully donated almost $500,000 in goods and services since we began five years ago. We give all of our donations to There With Care a non-profit to help families with critically ill children. Therewithcare.org
What kind of legacy are you hoping to leave for your family?
We hope to leave a legacy of Faith. We hope that when they need to find an answer to a question about their life they will not seek the answer from Google…we hope they will open the Bible.