Hi Erika! Can you introduce yourself to our readers? Tell us your full name, and your story leading up to starting “Hope Tank”?
My name is Erika Righter and I am a social worker-turned small business owner, consultant, community advocate, and Mom. My work in the social services field included the foster care system, rural social work, and programs serving low income older adults.
In 2012, I founded Hope Tank, a community space and gift store that gives back in Denver. Hope Tank uses retail to connect customers to justice-focused organizations, artists, micro businesses, and groups doing important work in our community.
What organizations are you highlighting this month?
We use our platform to highlight many opportunities for folks to show up for community in meaningful ways. Most recently, in the wake of the Club Q tragedy, we worked alongside our close friends Bread and Roses, a social justice legal center to rally support to provide mutual aid efforts to victims. Having experienced our own tragedy just one year ago with my dear friends being killed at Sol Tribe, we knew that financial help would take in some cases, months to reach anyone.
So many people were impacted, losing their source of income, many of them parents, and with marginalized identities, we knew they needed immediate help. We were able to raise funds to purchase Christmas gifts for twelve kids whose parents had been hurt in the shooting, purchase gift cards for them for groceries and to help with rent, and any other needs they identified.
We practice mutual aid, and believe that those in need are the best ones to decide how and what they need for support.
What Days/ Hours are you open for folks to come to your Brick and Mortar Store in the Whittier Neighborhood?
We are making some big transitions with our new space. We are taking the month of January to meet with the small business community, local grassroot organizations, residents, and politicians to talk about how we can really serve folks with our space, our platform, and our incredible network. That means people can still shop online with us 24/7, do curbside pickups, have gifts shipped, or make a private shopping time. You can also rent our community space and we have a form on our website for inquiries.
Hope Tanks’s Physical Address: 1434 E 22nd Ave, Denver, CO 80205