April 2012 Posts

A Car Changes Everything

Written by: Pierce O'Farrill, Vehicle Donation Coordinator

The Vehicle Donation Program started in 1998 with several objectives in mind. First and foremost, a vehicle provides reliable transportation for graduates and it allows increased employment and basic life opportunities. We’ve also seen an immediate spike in graduation rates! The New Life Program and STAR Transitional Program take dedication and hard work; receiving a car when they graduate is their light at the end of the tunnel.

“I am the new owner of a car all because of someone’s donation and I am grateful…I feel like a kid at Christmas,” says Gary, New Life Program Graduate. “This opportunity has opened new doors for me and everything is looking brighter.”

A donated vehicle has the power to change a life. An old truck that has been sitting in a donor’s driveway collecting dust for years can look like a brand new Cadillac to a graduate and can improve their quality of life exponentially.

The Vehicle Donation Program is entirely dependent on the wonderful donors who have the generosity to gift us a vehicle. We are very grateful for every single one of them and we strive to make the process quick and easy. We will take any car, truck, van, motorcycle or recreational vehicle, whether it runs, or not! We come to the donor and pick up the car, even if it needs to be towed. The paperwork is simple and only takes five minutes and in addition to helping the Mission, the donor may qualify for a tax deduction.

Help put someone in the driver's seat by donating a your car! It will change a life.

There are many great reasons to donate a vehicle and be a part of changing lives with Denver Rescue Mission! If you ever have an unused or unwanted vehicle or know someone who has one, it would be a real blessing if you would consider the Denver Rescue Mission’s Vehicle Donation Program and help us continue to change lives!

Visit http://www.denverrescuemission.org/vehicle for the details.

 

Helping Hands – Volunteers are Changing Lives

This week, we are celebrating our volunteers. April 15 –21 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week.  It’s a special week to acknowledge and celebrate the selfless service of volunteers. Denver Rescue Mission is blessed to have thousands of volunteers every year who help us accomplish everything from plating food and sweeping floors to mentoring and tutoring.  These extra helping hands allow the Mission to change lives in the name of Christ at a more profound level.

One particular volunteer is making a lasting impact with the Life Skills, Education, and Career Development of our New Life Program. I had the privilege of meeting with Greg Staffelbach for an inside look at the reality of a long term volunteer.

In the computer lab working on a GED.

Greg has been tutoring men in the New Life Program since December 2010. In this short time, he’s provided 560 hours of volunteer service and assisted 13 program participants with successful completion of their GEDs.

The best part of Greg’s volunteer service? “When I hear that a guy has passed his GED, we are doing high-fives in the hallway,” says Greg. “Sometimes it’s been 30 years since they’ve done any kind of math and when they finally understand it, a huge smile takes over – that’s success!”

When I asked Greg about his volunteer experience and how it’s impacted his life his earnest reply was, “I feel like I’m doing what I was designed to do. For the first time in 30 some odd years, I finally feel that I’m doing exactly what I was meant to do and tutoring at the Mission is a special time for me.”

Volunteering provides the opportunity to find what you were meant to do or designed to do, and to do it wholeheartedly. When extra hands pitch in to help meet needs that otherwise wouldn’t be met, lives are changed. There is deep gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to witness the community embrace those we serve at the Denver Rescue Mission. Thank you to all volunteers for being the hands of Jesus and meeting needs within our community.

Written by: Dani Gieger, Volunteer Relations Coordinator

At the Cross

Seeing the hurting and homeless come through the doors at Denver Rescue Mission’s Lawrence Street Shelter, it reminds me daily that we live in a fallen, broken world, but on a holiday like Easter (Resurrection Sunday) Jesus Christ guarantees a hope for the future.

Our hope is in the One who suffered and died on the cross – but it doesn’t end there – He conquered the grave! That’s our hope and that’s what I witnessed on Friday at the banquet. The individuals and families that came to the Easter banquet for a meal, received more than that – they left with hope. Jesus calls us to serve others, so that they may feel His love and see His hope. I pray that the hope they felt on Friday turns into new life.

Hundreds of individuals and families lined up outside the shelter for the banquet.

Beside serving a meal, we offered (thanks to many donors and volunteers) foot washing, podiatry exams, communion, worship and a new pair of New Balance shoes!

600 New Balance shoes were donated by Runner's Roost!

We offered communion during the worship in the chapel.

The foot washing ceremony which has become a part of the Mission’s Easter banquet is a picture of Christ, who, as a servant washed His disciple’s feet. Ultimately, Jesus served them – us – by going to the cross to pay for our sin. Jesus is the greatest example of servant-hood. Jesus is the greatest love story ever told. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus humbled Himself to serve mankind. And that’s what we all get to do at Denver Rescue Mission. Whether your staff, volunteers or donors, we all play a role in serving the homeless and hurting as Christ would – with love.

Foot washing was a humble experience. Everyone was overwhelmed with joy in this room.

The ground is level at the foot of the cross. Whosoever will, may come. May the love and the service that Christ works in us for others, somehow draw them to Him.

Post written by: Dan Dilley, Volunteer Coordinator (Lawrence Street Shelter)

 

 

 

Good neighbors

For the last 12 years Denver Rescue Mission has ushered in spring by preparing downtown Denver for none other than the opening day of baseball season. With about 60 people comprised of Mission staff, interns, New Life Program participants, we flooded the streets surrounding Coors Field with one mission…to clean.

Beginning at 8:30 a.m. we met at the Lawrence Street Shelter, a mere three blocks from Coors Field. We broke into six teams to start the cleaning in various areas surrounding the ballpark neighborhood.

New Life Program participants

As a young intern at the Mission, I was excited to participate in a community project, but for one of the program participants, he had different emotions.

“It feels funny to be back on the streets where I once slept, but it feels even better to know that these streets are my past,” described a current New Life Program participant. “Today, I am on the road to recovery.”

Cleaning the streets where he once walked as a homeless man - today he's on the road to recovery.

After about two hours of picking up cigarettes, empty bottles, wrappers and so much more, all the volunteers met at the front gates of Coors Field to meet Jim Kellogg, Vice President of Community and Retail Operations and others from the Rockies Staff.

 

Kellogg thanked everyone for coming out, “We like to come to the shelter to serve, so we appreciate everyone at the Mission for helping keep the neighborhood clean.”

The crew!

At the end of the day, 1,100 pounds of trash were picked up from the streets. Taking on projects, like this cleanup effort, helps the men and women in the Mission’s programs gain the self-esteem they need for a new life free from addictions and negative life choices. The Mission believes when you give back to others, the healing process will begin.

Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

Post written by: David Gauch, Public Relations Intern