Champa House Posts

Rachel’s Lens // Traveling Generosity

Julie!

Julie with a car full of donations!

My friend Julie is two things: extremely organized and extremely generous. I mean, she is much more than two things, but these are the two qualities that come to mind whenever I’m with her.

She lives in California and is an Executive Director with Thirty-One Gifts, charged with leading a team of almost 150 women. One of her favorite things to do is travel and blog about all her adventures. She was visiting Denver last week for the company’s national conference and it was so good to catch up with her again.

Julie contacted me a couple months ago, asking if there was anything she could do to serve Denver Rescue Mission while her team was in town. She came up with a brilliant idea to give personalized Thirty-One diaper bags to the single moms living at Champa House. She and her team filled the bags with all the things a mom could need. It was so unbelievably thoughtful and I know they stayed up until 2:00 a.m. the night before to assemble them!

The women at Champa were thrilled to receive the bags and I was so encouraged to see the attitude of generosity that Julie fosters in the people around her. It takes a special person to think outside of themselves and reach into the world around them, even on vacation.

Thank you Julie and Thirty-One for thinking of Denver Rescue Mission and showing the amazing women at Champa such kindness!

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Amy Fletcher, Champ House Director

Amy Fletcher, Champ House Director

Rachel’s Lens // Sarah’s Graduation Day

I know it probably feels like I’ve written about Graduation Day multiple times in this series, but I just can’t help it…it’s my favorite two days each year! It’s such an amazing celebration of the hard work of life change that our program participants have done over the course of  years.

I went to our graduation celebration this morning to take pictures and cheer on all the accomplishments of our grads, but I’m also going to another special ceremony tonight. Sarah, from Champa House is graduating! When I first interviewed Sarah last fall, I was so moved by her vulnerability and strength. She was telling me some of her most raw moments, but following up with the promises of the Lord that have guided her through them. Her faith is admirable and her determination inspiring.

After multiple photo shoots, texts and phone calls about her story, I realized we had formed a friendship. She already attended my church and began coming to my small group with me every week. I looked forward to picking her and her son up each Wednesday night and chatting in the car. She added such a refreshing perspective to our small group discussions and integrated easily with everyone else in the group. Sarah has become an important part of my community here in Denver and her graduation means so much to me. It marks the end of the most difficult time in her life and the beginning of her future.

Sarah will be celebrated by all the other mothers living at Champa, the staff, her friends, and her family. We all will get to hear her story of transformation and shower her with love and prayer as she starts this new, exciting chapter of her life. I can’t wait to see the look on her face as she realizes that she has truly done it. She made it through. Ah, it makes me cry just thinking about it.

Be sure to check Facebook next week for some photos!

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Guest Blogger // When transformation begins and life comes back

Written by Amy Fletcher, Champa House Program Director

One of the greatest joys of my job at Champa House is the fact that I get to be witness to transformation.  I am allowed the great privilege of watching broken, angry girls transform into courageous, forgiving women.  The process is work.  Very hard work. I see tears, attitudes, questions upon questions, and the ever-present temptation to quit.  However, when a woman chooses to have the courage to stick with the process, even though she cannot immediately see the outcome, transformation begins and life comes back.

Joy, our most recent graduate, is a beautiful picture of the transformation I am talking about.  She came to Champa House as a bitter, confused, angry shadow of a girl.  There was no joy in her, only pain.  Throughout her year in Champa House, Joy fully applied herself to the program.  She engaged in life skills classes, counseling, relapse prevention group, in depth Bible studies, budgeting, conflict management and relationship skills.  Joy fully surrendered her life to Christ and the  transformation He needed to do in her.  Joy graduated Champa House women’s  program on February 28th.  She graduated as a beautiful, gracious, confident woman.  She graduated as someone who fully grew into her name:  JOY.

Joy with Amy (right, Champa House Program Director)

Joy with Amy (right, Champa House Program Director)

Joy (left) with Yolanda, her Chaplain

Joy (left) with Yolanda, her Chaplain

Joy with women living at Champa House

Joy with women living at Champa House

NEW SERIES // Rachel’s Lens

Written by, Rachel Greiman, Writer/Photographer

Denver Rescue Mission is a place with some serious history. In my “New Hire Orientation” we went over all 121 years of it. With that much experience working with Denver’s most vulnerable people, there is a lot to cover. But rather than becoming overwhelmed, I felt enthused. It’s exciting to be a part of something so much larger than myself and to be in on the action.

I’ve been working at the Mission for four months now as the writer and photographer. But with more than 200 people in our New Life Program, up to 450 men sleeping in our overnight shelters this winter, 170 employees, and 6 different locations, I’m still learning something new every day!

I need to take small bites, learning about the Mission one piece at a time. I can’t walk into The Crossing and expect to interact with each family, child or adult. I can’t visit Champa House for an afternoon and hear all the individual stories of each single mother living there. I couldn’t possibly capture all that Harvest Farm has to offer in a day’s visit. The Lawrence Street Shelter serves over 1,000 meals a day; I can only share a table for three meals each day (let’s be honest, I could eat four). But even in my own building here at the administrative offices, I have yet to hear the story of how each fellow employee ended up working here. But this is my job: to give everyone outside the Mission a glimpse of who we are and what we do. The “why” of what we do can only be expressed through our stories. The people we serve give us a reason to keep going.

Each Friday, I’ll discuss something new that I’ve learned throughout the week or a story I’ve come across. It could be a sentence, it could be a novella. I’ll try to include photos when relevant. I’m already a little intimidated by a weekly commitment, but when your business is Changing Lives in the name of Christ, I can guarantee there will be a lot to say!

Bio:

I’m Rachel!

My job title says that I’m a writer and photographer, but I’m best at being an aunt and baking sweet treats. I own a cardigan in every color, all my good ideas come while sitting in church, I love terrible reality television, and I would rather be wearing sweatpants.

Champa House in the Running to Win Luxury Playhouse

Written by Danielle Charbonneau Public Relations Intern

Denver Rescue Mission has been selected as one of the lucky five charitable organizations eligible to win a luxury kid’s playhouse worth over $5,000 at the upcoming Colorado Garden and Home Show February 9-17 at the Denver Convention Center. The custom built playhouse, if won, will become a welcomed new feature of one of the Mission’s ministries, Champa House.

The Mission is honored to be included in the contest among the Bluff Lake Nature Center, Denver CASA, Easter Seals and STAR Center, all organizations chosen by the Garden and Home Show’s Board of Directors for their admirable contributions to the Denver community.

The playhouse was designed and created by a local builder with materials donated by Alpine Lumber. The mini-mansion will be on display in a feature garden at the show, which is the largest, oldest and most well-attended Garden and Home Show west of the Mississippi, attended by roughly 60,000 people. Show attendees will cast a ballot and the organizations with the most votes will be the lucky recipients.

Amy Fletcher, director of Champa House, is excited by the possibility.

“The kids would absolutely love a playhouse,” said Fletcher. “The Champa kiddos — just like any other children — have wonderful imaginations and are always playing with our doll house as well as dress up. They have even put on a play for all the moms and staff. Having a playhouse would just give them more space to use their wonderful minds in creative ways.”

But even if Champa isn’t the winner, Fletcher says it’s a reward in itself to be recognized as a quality program at such a huge event.

“We feel extremely honored to be nominated as a great community organization,” said Fletcher. “We honestly could not do what we do without the support of the Denver community. To be selected for this playhouse [giveaway] is a great honor.”

Colorado Garden Show, Inc. (CGS), the non-profit corporation that hosts the convention, has had a history of supporting Denver Rescue Mission: The company provides funds for horticultural-related grants, scholarships and events, and since 2006 has given the Mission an incredible $27,800 in support.

“The things Colorado Garden Show has donated is an absolute Godsend,” said Konnie Waters, Grant Officer for Denver Rescue Mission. “They have been instrumental in providing the more specialized things that our budget would not be able to pay for.”

Help Denver Rescue Mission win this playhouse.

 

//Attend the Colorado Garden Show and Vote Denver Rescue Mission//

The Colorado Garden and Home Show is a key to being able to fund community projects like those at Denver Rescue Mission: One hundred percent of every ticket sold to the convention is awarded in horticulture grants and scholarships across Colorado.

Tickets are available at the door for $12, or for $10 in advance at King Soopers (Ticket West locations). For more info about the show click here.