appreciation week Posts

Helping Hands – Volunteers are Changing Lives

This week, we are celebrating our volunteers. April 15 –21 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week.  It’s a special week to acknowledge and celebrate the selfless service of volunteers. Denver Rescue Mission is blessed to have thousands of volunteers every year who help us accomplish everything from plating food and sweeping floors to mentoring and tutoring.  These extra helping hands allow the Mission to change lives in the name of Christ at a more profound level.

One particular volunteer is making a lasting impact with the Life Skills, Education, and Career Development of our New Life Program. I had the privilege of meeting with Greg Staffelbach for an inside look at the reality of a long term volunteer.

In the computer lab working on a GED.

Greg has been tutoring men in the New Life Program since December 2010. In this short time, he’s provided 560 hours of volunteer service and assisted 13 program participants with successful completion of their GEDs.

The best part of Greg’s volunteer service? “When I hear that a guy has passed his GED, we are doing high-fives in the hallway,” says Greg. “Sometimes it’s been 30 years since they’ve done any kind of math and when they finally understand it, a huge smile takes over – that’s success!”

When I asked Greg about his volunteer experience and how it’s impacted his life his earnest reply was, “I feel like I’m doing what I was designed to do. For the first time in 30 some odd years, I finally feel that I’m doing exactly what I was meant to do and tutoring at the Mission is a special time for me.”

Volunteering provides the opportunity to find what you were meant to do or designed to do, and to do it wholeheartedly. When extra hands pitch in to help meet needs that otherwise wouldn’t be met, lives are changed. There is deep gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to witness the community embrace those we serve at the Denver Rescue Mission. Thank you to all volunteers for being the hands of Jesus and meeting needs within our community.

Written by: Dani Gieger, Volunteer Relations Coordinator