Kolby Dickens is a guitarist who plays for Too Many Humans, a four-piece Denver-based band that plays original, high-energy rock and roll music.

What inspired you to start the Too Many Humans, Not Enough Coats event?

One day, my wife and I took an afternoon drive, and we passed by the Mission. A seed got planted in my brain to get involved, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to start. The band that I’m a part of, Too Many Humans, was starting to attract more people at shows, and I decided that I wanted to leverage a crowdfunded event to help people who are experiencing homelessness. When we announced the first holiday benefit show in December 2018 at Globe Hall, people who couldn’t even make it to the show started reaching out to donate coats. That’s when I knew I might be on to something.

Will you describe the event and coat drive?

The annual Too Many Humans, Not Enough Coats event takes place each December. In addition to Too Many Humans, we also recruit other bands to perform. Attendees can enter the concert for free if they bring a coat, and all coats are donated to the Mission to help keep the community warm and dry during the winter. We also set up a GoFundMe to let people donate who live outside of the city or can’t make it to the show. We started partnering with businesses, including Superior Ink Printing, who sold us brand new, waterproof, three-layer coats at their wholesale cost with no markup or profit to them. We also work with Volleyball Of The Rockies to put donation boxes at their facilities.

How many coats did you collect the last two years?

Everyone has extra coats that they haven’t worn in the back of their closets, and I genuinely believe that people want to give. The first year was a much bigger success than I ever could have dreamed of. We collected about 250 coats. People were stopping by with coats so that they could help, even if they couldn’t stick around for the show. We didn’t expect such an outpouring.

What are some long-term goals that you have for this event?

I want the event to grow. My goal is to not only help the homeless population of Denver, but also see other communities mirror our event to help their homeless populations. It’s amazing what people will do to help when you just give them a chance, and this is a concept that doesn’t have any limits. It’s also a lot of fun to put together a concert that celebrates something positive.

Why is it important to you to support the Mission?

I think about how much it means to someone when you walk by and acknowledge them as a person and then actually show that you care through an act. Multiply that by hundreds of people showing random acts of giving and kindness, and we can really affect this city.

This post is a part of March’s Changing Lives Newsletter. This month features the amazing people who prepare every room for our incoming program participants.