Denver Rescue Mission Posts

Harvest Farm Fall Festival Bridges Family Fun and Addiction Awareness

The leaves are changing color and the smell of autumn is in the air.  That means it’s time for family fun at Harvest Farm’s 14th Annual Fall Festival & Corn Maze!

While there are other corn mazes to choose from, Harvest Farm’s Fall Festival & Corn Maze offers so much more than just twists and turns.  In fact, the event serves to advance Denver Rescue Mission’s sission statement in several ways.

First, it promotes “productive, self-sufficient citizenship” by involving the New Life Program participants in the preparation and operation of the festival. For example, the men use their God-given talents and trade skills like carpentry, electrical work and welding to construct nearly all of the festival grounds. Others in our program have artistic talents which are channeled into the design and creativity of the attractions. Because everything is meticulously hand-crafted with love, it sets our festival apart from the commercial, pre-fabricated feel of other fall festivals.


Additionally, the men assist with the festival operations by staffing the attractions. From greeting guests as they enter the corn maze to preparing hand-popped kettle corn, the men are a critical part of the event.

 

By providing opportunities for our men to engage with festival guests, they have a chance to shatter guests’ stereotypes of what it means to be an “addict” or “homeless”. With these interactions, our men begin to realize these terms are simply labels; it does not define who they are as person. Through hard work and positive reactions from festival guests, they gain a sense of self-worth and pride. For many, this is a new and welcomed feeling.

The Fall Festival also provides a chance for the community to learn about how Harvest Farm is “changing lives in the name of Christ.” Taking turns as hay wagon tour guides, our program participants explain to guests the unique opportunities for life change through the New Life Program. They share personal stories of obstacles they’ve faced, challenges they’ve overcome and their hopes for the future. This aspect makes our Festival so unique and truly sets us apart from the competition.

Attending the Fall Festival means guests are directly supporting the New Life Program and helping once broken men turn their lives around. Proceeds from ticket purchases, concessions and merchandise sales are reinvested into the program to ensure it thrives for years to come.

Not only does the Fall Festival & Corn Maze provide opportunities for fall time family fun, it supports a great cause.  We hope you’ll join us this October!  For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit: www.harvestfarm.net/fall-festival.

 

 

A Summer of New Experiences

This summer as the Public Relations and Special Events intern at Denver Rescue Mission has truly been an unforgettable experience. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, I never left my city much. Besides the occasional Las Vegas family trips and trips to National Parks, I rarely left California. In the fall of 2015, my friend, Kelsey, and I applied to Denver Rescue Mission as interns. Suddenly, there was a huge decision to make. Was my calling to stay in California to intern at a typical PR firm working in the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles? Or did I want to do something a little more meaningful in a completely new state and culture? Well, I guess writing this blog post answers that question.

After packing the car and driving 17-hours alongside Kelsey, who also accepted an internship at Denver Rescue Mission, we finally made it. It was my first time in Colorado, first time in Denver, and this was technically the furthest east I’ve ever gone in the United States. Sad, I know. I was extremely hesitant and scared for what lied ahead of me. I once worked at a YMCA, where I will never return to because of the chaos and egoistic attitude everyone wore. It hurt me to see that such a national organization was being consumed by greed and selfishness, or at least at my specific branch. I wondered if working at Denver Rescue Mission would be the same. Thankfully, I can say it has been the total opposite.

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On the road to Denver, CO!

My internship here at Denver Rescue Mission was more than I could ever ask for. It was swept me off my feet and I have never been more confident or eager to grab the next opportunity by the horns. Through it all, I have gained so much knowledge about the general duties of PR practitioners, how to act professionally and how to handle the media. I have done so much over this summer, both in my personal or professional life, and I know that my standards have definitely risen after working here. From attending meetings, events, and concerts to working on social media, media pitches, and weekly reports, I have really dabbled in a little bit of everything to broaden my knowledge of how work gets done in this field. As I return to school and apply for internships near me, I am grateful that my supervisors at Denver Rescue Mission have prepared me for the future.

 

Me with my intern supervisors, Stacy and Josh

My supervisors, Josh and Stacy, kept me busy this summer with PR and Special Events projects.

As I continue to grow older and learn more about myself, I think I have found a new love for putting myself outside of my comfort zone and truly immersing myself in new situations. That is when I have grown the most and truly appreciate all that I have, in addition to helping me find my passion. Working at Denver Rescue Mission has helped me discover that I want to help people who are struggling. Through this summer, Christ has shown me that I can always help improve the lives of other people. In such a twisted and unfair world, I believe that everyone should have a chance to succeed and show their ability to their fullest. Wherever I may end up in a couple of years, I know that because of this experience, I will walk away with at least the desire to help save the lives of those suffering in any situation. This summer, the Mission has been a place to call home and I know that this will not be my last time here.

There’s something about Colorado that has won my heart. Both the big and little things have made a huge impact on my stay here. The beautiful sunsets every night behind the mountain ranges. The freshness of the air. The Colorado pride that everyone shares so eagerly. People actually saying “hi” while passing each other on the street. The food here that is so different and tasty (green chili, I’m looking at you). The close proximity to nature. The abundance of free parking, even in downtown (you just have to look for it). The amount of Subaru’s on the road. The amazing restaurant, Casa Bonita. The bipolar weather that is truly not the same anywhere else. The one-way streets that I’ve gone down incorrectly way too many times. The *wonderful* train that passes by The Crossing every 20 minutes. The amazing relationships I’ve made at Denver Rescue Mission. And last but not least, my heart for the homeless community in Denver, who are trying to get back on their feet, all in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen to that.

Auto-Amanda! Local Teen Fixes Cars in the Mission Auto Shop

Did you know Denver Rescue Mission has a fully functioning auto repair shop? For more than 18 years, we’ve ran the shop as part of our Vehicle Donation Program. We created this program to provide transportation for graduates of Mission programs including the New Life Program, STAR Transitional Program and Family Rescue Ministry. The men and women who complete our long-term programs often require reliable transportation to secure employment. Owning a vehicle makes one less barrier for these deserving individuals to overcome on their road to success. The shop also provides services such as repairs and maintenance.

And the shop just got a new volunteer! 18-year-old, Amanda Dungan, began volunteering at the shop earlier this summer. She comes every Tuesday to offer her time and skills to fix cars and further her experience in mechanical engineering. It is inspiring to see that such a young and bright mind is willing to get her hands dirty to be of service for those less fortunate.

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When I first met Amanda, she was wearing cowboy boots, so it was no surprise to hear that she was born in Texas. Eventually, her family consisting of her mom, dad, sister and herself moved to Denver. Amanda had a very active childhood and continued her active lifestyle throughout high school. She has a tendency to pick up a hobby and run with it. By the age of 18, Amanda has been a swimmer, tennis player, horseback rider, hiker and archer.

Unlike most teenagers, Amanda already knows her true passion and what she wants to achieve in life. She plans on attending Georgia Institute of Technology in the fall of 2016 with a major in Mechanical Engineering. Amanda first started repairing cars in high school, when her school offered a one-day car repair workshop that taught her how to change brake pads. Not long after, she wanted to get more hands-on experience, so she enrolled in a “Cars 101” class at Front Range Community College.

As a recent graduate of Valor Christian High School, Amanda’s always heard about Denver Rescue Mission. When she discovered the mechanic volunteer opening, she felt selfishly excited because she got to learn so much and build her resume while getting to volunteer. But it turned out to be so much more than that. Amanda is full of compassion and heart and truly enjoys what she does at the shop.

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Her favorite part about working in the shop is working hand-in-hand with her two supervisors, Russ and Don. Amanda quickly learned to love the work environment and the community it brought her. It was an instant connection. She says she loves the shop because “the guys are super funny and know how to have a great time!”

Russ and Don say that they love her desire to learn and her lack of fear to tackle any task. “She loves trying and does a great job trying,” they said. “She’s open to any work. She may need some direction, but her ambition is the best we’ve seen.”

Amanda is willing to do whatever her bosses need her to do. “I clean a lot of gaskets, do oil changes, inspect cars, making sure things are okay and write down what’s wrong with them,” she said. “After that, we check tires and brake pads, and whatever needs to be fixed, we fix it.”

Amanda pays great attention to detail making it easy to recognize malfunctioning parts that are wrong, like leaks. In the future, Amanda has the desire to learn all about cars. She wants to be well versed in the vocab and parts of cars, just like her supervisors Russ and Don.

So far, her favorite cars to fix are Toyota’s. “I have a new earned respect for them because they just keep going and going,” she said. “They’re awesome and they never die— it’s amazing.”

As Amanda matures and attends college, her supervisors want her to succeed at what God has called her to be. She’s already made such an impact on the lives of our program graduates and all the guys she works with in the shop. Russ and Don add, “She makes it fun again, to do what we do.”