October 2018 Posts

Phillip Tello’s Story of Transformation

Below is an excerpt of Harvest Farm graduate Phillip Tello’s story which he recounted at an event on October 6, 2018. We hope his story encourages you as we work together to provide opportunity for our neighbors who struggle with homelessness and poverty. 


“When I was 27, I was introduced to crystal meth. The first time I used meth I was instantly addicted. It was like someone put batteries inside of me and turned me back on. My depression was gone, I felt energized, and my drunken state vanished. I falsely believed that God had put this drug in my life to cure me of my alcoholism. But nothing could have been further from the truth. Once I was in the trap of addiction to meth, everything went downhill. I lost my job, my apartment, and my dignity. I lived for meth and nothing else.  I struggled with this addiction for close to 12 years. My mind played games with me that horrified me and drove me to insanity.  My only solution was to take my own life.  How I overcame that is nothing short of a miracle.  God was with me in this desperate moment and He showed me a new way.  God changed the direction of my life.

I needed a safe haven to rebuild myself and I found it at Denver Rescue Mission, where I became a candidate to join the New Life Program at Harvest Farm. I believed in my heart that the Farm would be the place where I would be safe, the place where I would heal, the place where God would take the shattered pieces of my life and put them back together.  This home turned out to be everything and more than what I had expected.  It was the most amazing place in the world to me, a vast open space where I could get away and be with God, or be with the animals, or build relationships with other guys that were in the process of healing like me.

I discovered that I wanted to go to school and study to become a nurse. I began a transformative journey into making this happen by joining Front Range Community College. At the beginning, school was hard for me because of the self-defeatist belief system that I had about myself that needed to be dismantled.

Now, as I think about the person that I am becoming, I must admit that my self-image has been completely transformed.  Four years ago, I began this journey of leading a new life and self-realization. Then, I did not have much to start with. I was insecure, fearful, and didn’t have a direction in life. When I decided to become a nurse, I was propped up on the shoulders of the Harvest Farm giants that showed me the way to lead a disciplined life that is fruitful and pleasing to the Lord.

It is my dream to become a nurse and I will achieve that dream because I believe that God has set me up to do so. He put people in my life to create a luminous pathway in the right direction.  At Harvest Farm, I have built the foundation that continues to bear fruit in my work and dedication at accomplishing my goals. I am no longer insecure, fearful, and without direction. I have overcome, and I am thriving!”

Shane Ray on Why Denver Rescue Mission Matters

Shane Ray 2.0I know what it feels like to grow up and not always have things that you need. I also know the importance of having a role model. My mom, who was a single parent, worked hard to get promotions and make more money to provide for us. When I was kid, she would wake up at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. to go to work and support us. At the time I didn’t understand; I remember being six years old and thinking, ‘mom, you need to get some sleep, you’re going to be tired.’ She believed in hard work, and she was willing to make sacrifices to keep a roof over my head. Watching her do those things, it made me want to follow in her footsteps.

I believe in hard work, just like my mom. And I also believe that kids, especially kids growing up in situations like I did, need a role model. You know, kids look up to football players like we’re superheroes. For me, my mom is the hero. And because of football and the publicity that comes with it, I think it’s my turn to be that role model.

When I heard about the work Denver Rescue Mission was doing, and that they help out families living at The Crossing, I thought it’d be cool to partner with them. The work they do is really important, especially for families who are in a tough spot, working hard to get back into a home or an apartment. Anytime I can spare some time, even if it’s just an hour, I try to make it to the Mission. It’s always fun to go there and interact with kids and parents who are working hard to better their situation. The Mission does a good job of providing the support they need, and I just hope I can be a positive influence and a role model for the kids. – Shane Ray, Denver Broncos Linebacker 

Shane Ray is a fourth-year outside linebacker for the Denver Broncos. Established in 2016, Rays Awareness is Shane Ray’s charitable initiative serving low-income families in both Denver and Kansas City. Programs under Rays Awareness include Shane’s Shoes which is aimed at providing underserved families with shoes for school and sports. Shane’s Shoes is based on Shane’s own experiences and need for athletic shoes coming from a single parent home. For more information on Shane and Rays Awareness visit 56shaneray.com.

Together We Serve

Together we serve header

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107: 8-9 (NIV)

We serve thousands of meals daily.
All with your donations.
Ever wonder how it happens?


It begins with donations…

Donation Photo

Donations come from two places, food banks and people just like you. When food arrives at our Ministry Outreach Center, it’s unloaded and sorted.



Sorting Photo

Jacob, our Warehouse Food Coordinator, and his team of volunteers sort through all the donations. “We’re checking for quality and expiration date,” says Jacob. “We’re finding out what’s safe to use and what’s not.” Depending on how big a donation is, it can take anywhere from just a few hours to three days to sort. When finished, the items are placed in their designated location within the warehouse.


creating a menu…

Creating a Menu Photo

Because we rely on donations, our chefs are tasked with the challenge of starting with ingredients first and then creating a menu based off of what we have available. In total, Denver Rescue Mission has nine chefs on staff in Denver, three located at The Crossing and six at the Lawrence Street Community Center. Every day, one chef from each location does a walk-through at the Ministry Outreach Center, selecting which ingredients they want to use for that day’s meals. Once they make their order, the items are loaded onto one of our trucks and transported to the kitchens. When the truck arrives, the items are unloaded and put in one of two places— cold or dry storage.


prepping and cooking…

Meal Photo

When the truck arrives, the items are unloaded and put in one of two places— cold or dry storage. Two hours before each meal, prepping begins.  Vegetables are chopped. Meat is seasoned. Ovens are warmed. Then, it’s our talented chefs’ time to shine.

Serving starts with you: Give now and your gift will feed people experiencing poverty.

Donate Now

We asked Jeremy, the Mission’s Assistant Food Services Manager, to tell us his favorite part of the job:


“Being able to serve somebody food that you poured your heart into is a special thing.  The hope is that our meals provide a sense of dignity and respect to the people we serve; I think that’s what matters most.”

Your giving does more than fill stomachs. Chris, one of our friend’s experiencing homelessness had this to say:


“The food is good. It really
is, and it feels good to come
off the street and be acknowledged
by good-hearted people.”


Would you like to volunteer?

Learn More


Read the Full Newsletter

October 2018 Newsletter Cover


Also in this issue:

  • Letter from the CEO
  • The 14th Annual Last Waltz
  • Are You Ready for a Seismic Shift in Giving?
  • Shane Ray, Denver Bronco, on Why Denver Rescue Mission Matters

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