It’s National Volunteer Week! Denver Rescue Mission and Fort Collins Rescue Mission are celebrating all of our incredible volunteers. It’s simple— our volunteers are heroes. We could not change lives in the name of Christ without the help of our volunteers. From standing outside for our Thanksgiving Turkey Drive to waking up early and staying late to serve meals, words fail to express our gratitude for our volunteers.
In 2018, we had almost 18,000 volunteers step up to the plate. We are thrilled to give the community a snapshot of the passion and commitment these volunteers bring to the table every day. Read their stories below. Feel inspired? You can sign up to make a direct impact.
Thanks for helping us #SERVEDenver and #SERVENoco
“I believe part of the Great Commission is to bring Heaven to Earth – and I see the Kingdom of God advancing at the Rescue Mission. I am so grateful for the guests, the staff and all of the volunteers who are making this happen,” Michelle said.
Michelle has been volunteering as a chapel provider at Fort Collins Rescue Mission for just under a year. She is passionate about sharing the word of God with our homeless brothers and sisters. She is drawn to help all of God’s children!
When asked about her most impactful experience, Michelle recalled praying for the chapel to be full for her service. Low and behold, she arrived to find the chapel packed! She prayed for the healing of the guests and felt His presence in the chapel.
Michelle, thank you for your contribution in the spiritual lives of our homeless neighbors!
“I love volunteering at the Mission because I know this is a place of much caring, love and hope,” Georgina said.
Georgina’s been volunteering with the Mission since the beginning of 2018 (right after she returned from Europe.) She is a regular volunteer serving in the dining area at the Lawrence Street Community Center.
She says she is continually blown away by the heartfelt, sincere and positive energy our staff and program participants have.
“There is a very genuine and beautiful blessing in this place,” she said. “It is a tremendous honor to be a part of it.”
We are SO lucky to have you be a volunteer Georgina!
Rebecca serves Fort Collins Rescue Mission as a chapel provider; drawing from her own life experiences to connect with our guests and contribute to their spiritual lives. She began her work with the Mission in April, 2018.
Although Rebecca grew up surrounded by the message of Christ, she encountered several abusive figures in her life. “My life has been transformed by God’s love. God rescued me from abuse, Pharisaism, and so much hopelessness, how can I not turn around and do the same for others. I use my experience (pain) to speak to other hurting people in such a way as to bring them hope. There is nothing more redemptive than that,” Rebecca remarked on her experience.
After sharing her story and providing a message in a chapel session, guests will often come up to Rebecca and thank her for speaking directly to them. Several people relate directly to her story and feel encouraged by her strength. These experiences are most impactful for Rebecca!
You’re an inspiration, Rebecca! Thank you for all that you do.
For the past 5 plus years, Christina has been the ADT Citizenship Team Captain setting up monthly opportunities for team members to volunteer at the Mission. She’s gotten a taste of many different volunteer opportunities by working in our Ministry Outreach Center and Lawrence Street Community Center kitchen.
The most impactful experience Christina has had is when she went down to the Lawrence Street Kitchen one Sunday morning to serve breakfast.
“My tired grumbling about having to get out of a nice warm bed that morning ended after parking my car and making the walk to the kitchen door. This trek walked me by people sleeping on the streets – not in a nice warm bed – that were waiting for a warm meal. It is humbling to realize the privilege I currently have in my own life and that even the basics of shelter and food are not available to everyone is profound,” Christina said.
We appreciate all you and ADT do for us Christina!
“Though I was born with disabled arms, I don’t let that stop me from doing my assigned tasks around the Mission. Many guests observe me working with my arms, and some have told me how they watch me and feel inspired to press through in their challenging circumstances,” Paul said.
Paul started volunteering in guest relations at Fort Collins Rescue Mission in June, 2018. He assists guests with check-in and works closely with our Emergency Services Coordinator. He enjoys serving the people of God and learning the stories of our guests.
At one point during his service, Paul encountered a guest who had an underdeveloped hand on one of his arms. The guest was inspired by Paul and how much he witnessed him doing with his arms. He transitioned out of the Mission after a short period. Paul was moved by his experience with this unique guest!
Keep up the good work, Paul!
VRNDA DASI NOEL
Vrnda and her group from Ability Access are an incredible volunteer team. Vrnda is the owner of Ability Access, an organization that helps those who are developmentally disabled with day training services.
The dynamic group has been volunteering at The Crossing since 2007. During their 11 years volunteering, they’ve been a tremendous help in preparing the dining room for lunch, cleaning up from breakfast and serving lunch to residents and staff.
“My group enjoys volunteering at the Mission because they like to be fully integrated with their community. They enjoy interacting with folks and serving others,” Vrnda said. “The participants of Ability Access appreciate the respect and kindness they receive from residents and staff.”
Thank you Vrnda and Ability Access for helping to make a difference in the community we serve!
Chase only recently moved to Denver, but quickly picked up volunteering at the Mission.
“I moved to a Denver neighborhood where the issue of homelessness is a daily and ever-present reality, and volunteering with the Mission gives me the opportunity to make a direct impact within my own community,” Chase said.
Chase works as a kitchen assistant at The Crossing. He helps prep, cook, serve and clean while he volunteers. Getting to build relationships with the community we serve is one of the most impactful parts of Chase’s time at the Mission.
He said, “Working side-by-side every week with the same guys in the program has humanized homelessness for me in a way I haven’t experienced before.”
Keep on rockin’ it Chase!
An avid yogi, Andrea volunteers teaching a yoga class at Harvest Farm once a week. She began her good work here in early 2018.
Andrea enjoys sharing yoga with the New Life Program participants, exposing them to a new experience, many of them know nothing about. She shared, “We have guys sometimes who come to their first class in jeans, no idea what to expect, and who come back the next week in workout clothes and with other new recruits in tow, then they become dedicated regulars. It’s awesome to see, and tells me they appreciate the opportunity.”
Being able to witness the men grow and graduate the program is the most fulfilling part of Andrea’s volunteer work. She aspires to contribute to the participant’s recovery and life journey.
We are so thankful for Andrea’s caring heart and commitment to our New Life Program!
A passionate believer, Ryan began his work as a chapel provider and mentor at Fort Collins Rescue Mission in 2017. He focuses on lifting up our homeless neighbors to a place of honor, dignity, and hope.
“As we talked, he began to release forgiveness to those who had hurt him. He said it felt so good, but it also hurt, because he was opening up his heart again for the first time in decades,” Ryan said when speaking to a homeless guest.
Ryan enjoys engaging with our guests and giving his time and attention to those undergoing hard times. He feels most impactful when guests allow him to be part of the restoration and recovery process.
Thank you for opening your heart to our guests, Ryan!
Amy Burant has been volunteering at The Crossing since September, 2017. She started volunteering because she wants to contribute to the solution of ending homelessness in our city.
Amy said that the most impactful part of her experience is getting to know our program participants who work in the kitchen and have shared their stories of homelessness and hope.
“I feel really hopeful when I see the residents who are taking positive steps in their transition. I love that New Life Program participants are rewriting their story with the help of the Mission. I don’t have a lot of money to donate, but I do have time I can give,” Amy said.
Thank you so much for your time Amy!