Denver Rescue Mission Posts

Easter Egg Hunt Brings Happiness & Excitement

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blog 2The afternoon rain had just stopped and groves of kids from the Mission’s STAR Transitional Program started to skip down The Crossing’s sunroom hallway. As they passed the windows, they would stop, point and look out at the amphitheater courtyard.

There outside in the grass were brightly-colored, neon Easter eggs freckled among the grass. You could feel the excitement, and almost soon to be sugar rush, as the kids continued to fill the room.

But, before they could go racing to grab their eggs and candy, Joe Birmingham, the Mission’s youth coordinator, had a question for the group — “This is a fun event, but what is Easter really about?”

Several kids excitedly blurted out things like, “Easter eggs,” “the Easter Bunny,” and “Candy.”

Then one kid raised his hand and said, “The resurrection of Jesus.”

Blog 1The parents that had accumulated around the sides of the room “aww’d” at the answer and a soft clap filled the room.

Joe exclaimed, “Exactly!” He then went on to give instructions. It was go time!

3-2-1… the youngest kids went outside first, followed by a thunder of enthusiasm as the older kids and teens hit the courtyard a few minutes later. Immediately thereafter laughter, the clinking of eggs hitting together in each basket and feet crunching on grass filled the air. It was the sight of pure happiness.

Once all the trees and bushes had been looked through and every corner of the lawn had been searched, the group headed inside for an ice cream party with candy, sprinkles and more.

blog 3It was the perfect Saturday Easter egg event full of joy. And, none of it would have been possible without the handfuls of the Mission’s donors who supplied the hundreds of Easter eggs. We are extremely fortunate to have donors who go above and beyond to make sure the individuals we serve feel loved. Thank you.

We Hit Our Neighborhood Cleanup Out Of The Ballpark!

Cleaning up trash first thing on a Saturday morning the day after the Colorado Rockies home opener is not everyone’s idea of the perfect weekend plan. Especially when there’s a lot to pick up! But, for some, they are more than prepared to “step up to bat” and clean the neighborhood.

For the past 13 years, the Colorado Rockies and Denver Rescue Mission have rallied together for their annual Ballpark Neighborhood Cleanup. This year was no exception!

The morning after the Rockies’ took on the LA Dodgers in their home opener, Denver Rescue Mission Staff, Colorado Rockies’ staff, participants in the Mission’s programs, and members of the Mission’s Young Professionals group joined together to clean up the area around Coors Field.

This year’s turnout was one of the highest yet, with more than 70 individuals showing up to volunteer, including Jim Kellogg, Colorado Rockies Vice President of Community & Retail Operations, and Dick Monfort, owner of the Colorado Rockies. The volunteers broke out into teams of seven and tackled different routes around the area to clean up.

The annual event is more than just the opportunity to clean up the area. It is also a way to demonstrate a neighborly spirit and commitment to the Ballpark community. A handful of the volunteers even came back from the cleanup saying they had run into local business owners and neighbors who thanked them for picking up the trash.

So, while the idea of picking up trash isn’t the most exciting thing to do, giving back to a community we work and live in is.

Want more of our action from the day of? Check out our news coverage from FOX31 here.

Celebrating The Best Of The Best Volunteers- We are lucky to have YOU!

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


MICHELLEMICHELLE GOODMAN

“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!


GGEORGINAEORGINA BUSH

“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 LoveallREBECCA LOVEALL

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.


CHRISTINA OLDHAMCHRISTINA OLDHAM

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!


PAULPAUL ACKERMAN 

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 JACKSONCHASE JACKSON

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!


ANDREA SEVERSONANDREA SEVERSON

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!


RYAN CARTER

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 BAMY BURANT

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!

Initiative 300 – Not A Solution

20180516_oao_0272At Denver Rescue Mission people are first! People who face challenges such as mental illness, addiction, domestic violence, family breakup, job loss, and more. We have been serving people with these needs for 127 years. It’s not just what happens inside of our walls that matters but also outside our walls.

On May 7, the Denver community votes on Initiative 300, also called Right to Survive. The title itself is misleading, without explanation it leaves a feeling that if you are not in favor of this you somehow believe people do not have a right to a bed, food, and health care. If this initiative passes, what happens outside of our walls will look drastically different.

If voters decide to pass this, our job at Denver Rescue Mission becomes much more difficult. I am afraid that our staff who go outside of our building to help people could be charged for harassment. The trash surrounding our downtown buildings becomes more difficult to manage. Camping in public places becomes acceptable, park curfews become non-existent and unpermitted food distribution becomes tolerable. The health and safety of our community is threatened. Sadly, Initiative 300 does nothing to help those living on the street.

At our very core, we want to help the most vulnerable people in our community. That’s what the Mission’s done for the past 127 years and will continue to do for years to come. If you live in Denver, please vote “No” on Initiative 300 and wherever you live please help us by volunteering, donating, or simply engaging in conversations with city officials and others in our community to work on the complicated issue of homelessness. I want to see people experiencing homelessness get the help they need, that’s why Denver Rescue Mission is here.

Moments of Beauty: Helping Homeless Neighbors Feel Known, Seen and Loved

Moments of Beauty

 

WE ALL HAVE THOSE MOMENTS—YOUR WEDDING DAY,

YOUR GRADUATION, YOUR BIRTHDAY—MOMENTS WITH FESTIVITIES AND CROWDS,

DANCING AND SINGING.

But as you know, most days aren’t filled with such pageantry. We go to work. We go to the grocery store. We go to church, the dentist, the gas station. We pay bills, make dinner, do  the dishes, clean the house.

These are the ordinary, everyday tasks that we do week in and week out. In the midst of them, we have good days and bad days. Sometimes, the good days are defined by the modest of moments—making silly faces to your newborn and hearing her laugh for the first time; baking cookies with your grandkids; getting a phone call from your son who left for college last semester.

It’s in moments like these when we feel known, seen and loved. And that’s what makes them beautiful—they’re simple and ordinary, yet they remind us that we are a part of something greater than ourselves. They’re moments of beauty.

Beauty isn’t a word used to describe homelessness. But for people experiencing it, moments of beauty do happen. And it’s in these moments when our friends experiencing homelessness are reminded that they, too, are known, seen and loved.

 

Moments of Beauty Start With You

Help more people feel known, seen and loved today

Change Lives

 

Moments of Beauty This Easter

1

A PLACE OF WORSHIP

Amidst the chaos of homelessness, it’s important to provide a quiet space where people can come reflect and worship. We offer chapel services at our Lawrence Street Shelter every day, and on Good Friday we will partner with Volunteers of America to host a special service with nearly a dozen chapel volunteers where we will serve communion to all of our guests.

2

FOOT WASHING

The Son of God, got down on His hands and knees, on the floor, and washed His disciples’ feet. Following Christ’s example, we want to take a posture of humility and remind our guests that they are loved and have worth.

3

MEALS

The food will be delicious, and it’s what happens in-between the meal that is beautiful. It’s the connection— the smiles, the hugs, the conversation, the joy of a shared experience between our guests and our volunteers.

4

GIFTS

Every person who comes to our Easter Celebration will get a new pair of socks donated by St. Lukes Church and a new pair of shoes, courtesy of Runners Roost and New Balance.

Read the Full Newsletter

April 2019 Newsletter Cover

Also in this issue:

  • Letter from the CEO
  • Volunteer Appreciation Week
  • Rockie’s Cleanup
  • Why Denver Rescue Mission Matters

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