The David & Laura Merage Foundation created the Merage Mini Heroes program during the COVID-19 pandemic to bring some joy to young children of the dedicated and courageous healthcare professionals who are putting in long hours away from their families. This program is unique to Denver, but the Merages hope that it inspires others to replicate it around the globe.
The Foundation will donate and deliver 500 age-appropriate boxes of toys for infants, toddlers, preschool, kindergarten and elementary school-aged children to healthcare workers and frontline staff including nurses, respiratory therapists, medical professionals and non-medical clinical staff as well as EVS, nutrition, lab and sterile processing staff at two local hospitals.
Merage Mini Heroes specialty toys were purchased from Timbuk Toys, a local, independent Denver business founded in 1993 that now has four stores in the Metro Denver area. Timbuk Toys staff were eager to put together the boxes over the weekend, as they share a passion for children and giving back to the community. Timbuk Toys has, so far, been able to keep its entire staff employed during the pandemic. It was important to the Merages to partner with a local business during this pandemic. In fact, the Mini Heroes program proudly utilizes only local business, including the printing services and materials.
Based on requests from the hospitals, Saint Joseph Hospital will receive 415 boxes and Denver Health will receive 85 boxes. Educational toys in each box are tailored to the developmental needs of children who are now at home for longer periods of time due to the pandemic. If additional hospitals and foundations are interested in participating in or helping to expand the current giving program, they can contact Operations Specialist Catharina Hughey at Merage Foundations: firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Merage is a passionate venture philanthropist and together with his wife, Laura, founded the David & Laura Merage Foundation in 2002. In 1975, David Merage co-founded Chef America, known for inventing Hot Pockets©, Lean Pockets© and Croissant Pockets©. David and his brother, Paul, sold Chef America to Nestlé in 2002. Chef America is known for being one of the most successful food companies in the world.
The David & Laura Merage Foundation is a charitable foundation advancing David and Laura’s commitment to early childhood education, contemporary art and Jewish life. They invest in breakthrough innovations, launch new organizations and mobilize movements to reform laws.