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It’s Volunteer Appreciation Week!

17 DRM Volunteer Appreciation FB Cover

April 23-29 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week and we’re celebrating! Here at the Mission, volunteers are our heroes. They serve meals with a caring smile, tutor kids who are behind in school, spend time mentoring adults & children, care for kids in transition, sort donations and so much more to help our organization flourish as we do God’s work.

We’re excited to share the passion and commitment of these seven featured volunteers. Read their stories below and consider signing up to make an impact at www.denverrescuemission.org/volunteer.

Thanks for all you do to #SERVEDenver and #SERVENoCo!

Steven Walker

Steven Walker

Steven serves three times a week at our Lawrence Street Community Center (LSCC) in downtown Denver. He greets guests, scans their badges and hands out silverware. “I greatly enjoy the one-on-one contact with the Mission’s guests. I want them to feel welcome and know this is a place where there is no judgement,” says Steven.

Steven was blown away by our new LSCC facility when it opened and wanted to be part of it. “Blessings have been bestowed on me. Volunteering is just one small way I can pay back this gratitude,” says Steven.

We’re grateful you chose the Mission, Steven!

 

Melissa Thevenin

Melissa Thevenin

Melissa enjoys giving her time once a week as a Work Therapy Engagement Volunteer at Harvest Farm and working in the kitchen at Fort Collins Rescue Mission.

“Every person is unique and so many are hilarious. They energize me with their perseverance, and I enjoy hearing their stories and talking about their interests and goals,” says Melissa.

She was nervous at first because she didn’t feel qualified, but Melissa quickly learned that all she had to do was show up and be herself. “You’ve probably heard the quote, ‘God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called.’ I never believed that until I became a volunteer at Harvest Farm.”

Not only is Melissa positively impacting our program participants and guests, God is working in her heart in the process too.

Linda Parker

Linda Parker

Linda finds her passion for volunteering in our kitchens — she feeds lunch to our hungry men, women and children at The Crossing every Tuesday and serves up breakfast on Saturday mornings at the Lawrence Street Community Center.

“My heart aches for all the participants but when I am on the line serving, I have an opportunity to say hello, offer a smile and another chance to do what Jesus would do,” says Linda.

We are so grateful to have her smiling face at our facilities every week!

Larry Lewis

Larry Lewis

For nearly three years, Larry has helped lead the worship service at our Fort Collins Rescue Mission chapel.

When asked why he likes volunteering at the Mission, Larry said “It’s real. I love looking at the variety of faces of children and knowing no matter where that person is today that God can provide healing and hope.”

Larry’s voice and his words make our guests feel lighter and happier every time they enter the chapel, and we can’t thank him enough for sharing his talents. “I certainly receive much more from volunteering than I could ever give,” adds Larry.

The Spicers

The Spicers

The Spicer’s are one of our most dedicated volunteer duos! Russ teaches Fly Fishing Basics to our men in recovery at Harvest Farm. While Tina provides foot care for our guests twice a month at Fort Collins Rescue Mission.

Russ takes our men out on the river a few times a year and says “I enjoy helping the men at Harvest Farm know that they can have fun in a clean, healthy way.”

One of Tina’s most memorable experiences as a volunteer was when she brought some friends with her to the Mission’s Easter Banquet where they washed the feet of our homeless guests, just as Jesus did with his disciples. “Being allowed to serve others in this way is humbling and very rewarding,” says Tina.

Duane Barker

Duane Barker

Duane has been volunteering with us at Harvest Farm since August of 2015. He feels privileged to walk with and pray for the men in our New Life Program that they may find healing and deliverance.

“I have a farming background and every farmer knows there’s an investment before the Harvest. I’m investing a piece of my daily life into my Father’s ‘farm’,” as Duane explains it.

Duane’s heart for serving our men is incredible and we know that they feel encouraged after each encounter with him. Thank you, Duane!

Update: Lawrence Street Community Center

Brad_Meuli

Brad Meuli President/CEO

Yesterday, we received some startling news from the courts regarding the suit the Ballpark Neighborhood has filed against The City and County of Denver, the Board of Adjustments for Zoning Appeals for the City and County of Denver, and Denver Rescue Mission.  The ruling by District Court judge, R. Michael Mullins, who is responsible for this decision, was that the previous order of the Board of Adjustments be reversed. This has the effect, for zoning reasons, of not allowing us to operate the soon to be completed Lawrence Street Community Center (LSCC).

I am shocked and dismayed by this ruling. Why? Because it is the poor and needy people we serve who are most impacted. To me this decision is about dignity and respect. I believe there are hundreds of thousands of caring citizens in the greater Denver area who believe, like I do, that individuals and families trying to make their way out of poverty should be able to have a place where they might be able to use a restroom, get a drink of water, take a shower, do laundry, sit in a safe place free from drug predators, and even charge their cell phones so that they can continue to look for work. A place where compassionate and willing people provide respect and care for all people no matter their station in life.  A place where they can be connected to services so that they can become productive self-sufficient citizens. Are these not basic human dignity issues and should we not do all we can to help those who are struggling?

How do I know that this is important to our community? Because we, at Denver Rescue Mission, have been helping hundreds of thousands of people for the last 123 years and we would not be here today without our community’s support. This last year alone, we provided over 600,000 meals and 300,000 nights of shelter.  Homelessness is not going away, but we can help people change their lives one person at a time. At Denver Rescue Mission, we believe people matter, and no matter how this decision regarding the LSCC is finally resolved, we are going to keep on doing just what we have been doing — providing human dignity and respect to the poor but most importantly, HOPE for the future. As a faith-based ministry, we are praying that God will move peoples’ hearts to cry out for justice for the poor.

 

 

 

Educate, Empower, Protect

Krumm Hang, Denver Rescue Mission PR Intern

Krumm Hang, Denver Rescue Mission PR Intern

My name is Krumm Hang and I became involved with Denver Rescue Mission through my organization, Asian Hope. They have been partners with the Mission for a while now. Asian Hope is also a non-profit and currently they are putting me through college in California at a Christian school called the Master’s College. Asian Hope is changing the future of vulnerable Cambodian kids by protecting and equipping them with an education so they can be empowered to give back to the community. Its headquarters is in Denver, Colorado, but the program itself is in Cambodia.

During the summer, I stay in the States and try to look for internships that relate to my major, communication-electronic media, or something that I am interested in. I have been interning with Denver Rescue Mission for two summers already and this is my third summer here. This summer, I decided to do something that is closely related to my major. This year I am an intern for the PR department (public relations). My first two summers I interned as a Volunteer Coordinator and with the Database crew as part of the IT department. I am doing different internships every summer because I want to explore the different possibilities out there. I have big goals and dreams when I return to Cambodia next year. As of right now, I am exploring the waters and seeing what I can take back with me.

As an international student, at times looking for internships can be a bit challenging. If you do find one, you either have to get a car or some kind of transportation, which I don’t have. With the Mission providing accommodations such a place to stay, meals and bus passes to be able to explore different places, this means a lot to me. They also give a small stipend to spend during the internship.

 

Krumm (left) and his brother Hocklee (right) with Christopher Yuan, author of "Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God, A Broken Mother's Search for Hope" and instructor at Moody Bible Institute

Krumm (left) and his brother Hocklee (right) with Christian speaker and author Christopher Yuan

Krumm (upper left) with fellow Asian Hope international students

Krumm (upper left) with fellow Asian Hope students

Krumm (upper right) enjoying the Denver sunshine with friends

Krumm (upper right) enjoying the Denver sunshine with friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I see this as a God given opportunity for me to learn all that I can and want to do. Through all the internships that I have done with Denver Rescue Mission, I can say I have learned a lot. As a Volunteer Coordinator Intern, I have learned the importance of socializing and building relationships with people. I have learned what it means to have a heart that wants to serve and love others just like God instructed us. Being a Database Intern, I have learned to collect and gather information through long hours of meeting. One must be patient and keep a collective mind in order not to lose sight of important pieces of the conversations. I have not interned long as a PR Intern, but I am currently trying to learn the differences between PR, marketing, and advertising. I am also trying to learn all that I can about photography and the aspect of fundraising. I am trying to put together a portfolio as well.

I will use all that I have learned to go into ministry and eventually start a soup kitchen and start a transitional program. My heart is working with the poor in some way, but I have not figured out what I really want to do just yet. I also want to animate Bible stories in Khmer (the language of Cambodia) and use that as a way of bringing the gospel to the people of Cambodia, both the illiterate and the literate.

If you are interested in an internship with Denver Rescue Mission click here for more information. 

Hump Day is Help Day at Keller Bros. Auto Repair

Hump Day is Help Day at Keller Bros. Auto Repair

Hump Day Is Help Day

This month, every Wednesday and Thursday Keller Bros. Auto Repair in Littleton will donate $5 for EVERY oil change to the Denver Rescue Mission.

At the Mission, our hearts smile when local companies take a stand to help the most vulnerable members of our community. Keller Bros. Auto Repair in Littleton started their Hump Day is Help Day program nine months ago to “fuel” social change. This month’s guest blogger and Keller Bros. Local Store Marketing Specialist, Emily Adams, shares more about this meaningful program and how you (and your car) can get involved…

At Keller Bros. Auto Repair, we love our community, and we know you do too. That’s why we strive to give back and support those who do so much for our Denver community.

Keller Bros. has been a proud supporter of the Denver Rescue Mission for many years. Denver Rescue Mission is an important organization in our community in and around Denver, committed to serving those in need with the many programs to help them become productive and self-sufficient citizens. We are proud to support these efforts every way we can – whether it’s through employee volunteers, donations of goods and money or spreading the word of the Mission.

This month, we’re excited to support Denver Rescue Mission again with our “Hump Day is Help Day” program. Every Wednesday and Thursday in July, we will donate $5 for EVERY full-priced oil change we perform to the Denver Rescue Mission. Now your preventative maintenance goes even further — not only will you be able to keep your vehicle safe on the road, you’ll get more miles out of every dollar AND support our community!

This month marks the fourth time Keller Bros. has featured Denver Rescue Mission in the “Hump Day is Help Day” program. To date, we’ve been able to raise over $500 through oil changes and customer donations, which translates to 234 meals. Our auto repair shop in Littleton is also a Denver Rescue Mission donation collection center. We keep large bins in our waiting area for customers to drop off donations of canned goods, clothing and food for the Denver Rescue Mission.

Each year, Denver Rescue Mission continues to make a bigger difference in our community. All of us at Keller Bros. are honored to have played a small part in that mission and look forward to continuing to support these efforts in the years to come.

To our loyal customers, “Hump Day is Help Day” supporters and Denver Rescue Mission allies, thank you for helping Keller Bros. support our community. We couldn’t do it without you. All of us at Keller Bros. are committed to fueling our community – through car care, collecting food, providing meals and supporting those who do so much for our community.

To learn more about how you can help the Denver Rescue Mission with your next oil change, stop by Keller Bros. Auto Repair in Littleton or call our team at 303-347-1010. We hope to see you on a Wednesday or Thursday “Hump Day” this month to support the Mission!

We live here. We love it here. And we hope it shows.

Break the Cycle II, A Final Thank You

Brad_Meuli

Brad Meuli, President/CEO

We made it! We made it! We made it! If you followed our journey on bicycles from Reno to Seattle, raising awareness and funds to fight hunger, I want to say thank you. If you prayed for us, supported us financially or even just read our blogs, thanks for caring. I am excited to share that we surpassed our goal for Break the Cycle 900 Miles Against Hunger – more than 25,000 meals = $50,000 was raised. We could not have done this without you, thank you.

 

I have been asked, “How was your bike trip?” and “What was it like?” It is a little hard to put an experience like this in to words. But after some reflection on these questions I would say…

1. It was hard. It rained pretty much every day and many of those days were also cold. There was plenty of time to compare ourselves to the people who are homeless, who we were raising money to feed, that have it a lot worse than we did riding.

2. What I appreciated the most was the team of riders and support personnel (Tanner and Jeremy) with whom I had the privilege of spending nearly two weeks. They made the ride special. Think about traveling in a support vehicle, following riders who at times are climbing and slowing to 3 mph, for over 900 miles. (This took some patience!)

The Rescue Riders:

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Griff Freyschlag, at 60, I like to call, “the oldest living Break the Cycle finisher”, a guy who prior to this had never really ridden a bike much.  (He borrowed mine!) He was an inspiration to me.

Brian Newman, former professional triathlete, who could have done this ride in half the time but was so supportive of everyone. He is big on encouraging others and whoa can he eat!

Nathan Hoag, pastor at Cherry Hills Community Church and DRM Board member who had to buy a bike to join us and then proceeded to lead the way. Toughest 135 pound man I have ever met, second only to Brian in riding and eating!

Josh Geppelt, our navigator, thanks to Josh and his apps, we knew where we were going and how to navigate throughout the trip.  If you are ever going on a ride like this, take Josh.

Jeff Dines, one of our staff members and now the first graduate of our New Life Program to complete Break the Cycle. It was pretty powerful when he finished, it symbolized his new life free from addiction! His gratitude for all the Mission had done for him and his thankfulness for being included on the ride gave us all a lift.

Kyle Petrie, who really masterminded the entire trip, without him this ride would not have taken place.  I also probably would not have eaten at some of the places we enjoyed without his insistence on a “dining experience.” (Note: if you are gathering that much of our dialogue was about food, you are correct…burning thousands of calories riding, makes you famished!)

I also want to thank my son Gus Meuli, who joined us in Bend, Oregon for two days of riding. Gus agreed to join me riding across Kansas a few years ago which really started all of this. Such an unselfish guy, must take after his mom!

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As for me, I am so grateful for completing this ride, and to try and do something a little bit out of the box for the people who are homeless and come to us for help at the Mission. Even though some people think it was crazy! I thank God that my 57 year old body and particularly my back, held up over this ride, because it is not what it used to be. I am humbled that I was able to lead, out of my own weakness, this fine group of men to a cause greater than ourselves. And so appreciative for our sponsors and community’s support.

Lastly, let me encourage you to do something extraordinary, something you might be afraid to do, something for someone else, and take some friends along. I promise you that your life will be changed forever.