volunteers Posts

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!

A Sweet Sixteen

Written by, Aneta Storvik, Public Relations Coordinator

Lately, God has been highlighting scripture to me on the importance of putting the needs of others above my own – selfless love. In our day-to-day lives it’s easy to only think about ourselves and what we need, but God asks us to be intentional about serving others!

A few months ago,  a development officer came racing into my office telling me about a young girl who donated her birthday to the Mission. Instead of anticipating gifts for herself, she was inspired to have her friends bring some kind of donation for Denver Rescue Mission! This was her 16th birthday too – and she desired to make it about serving others and not accumulating more for herself.

I felt inspired and refreshed to hear that a teenager  donated her birthday gifts, on her SWEET SIXTEEN, to make someone else feel important. This is rare, especially when I remember watching a t.v. show about girls and boys going OVER and BEYOND to celebrate their 16th birthdays.

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I asked Bekah to share her experience…

“This October was my 16th birthday. I was really looking forward to turning 16 because I feel like this year is a milestone. I decided to have a big party with my closest friends, but I already felt like I had all the gifts I needed. My parents suggested that I give back to the community instead of ask for presents. I thought this was a great idea, so I asked all my friends to bring a money donation for Denver Rescue Mission to the party as a gift.

When I saw how many people gave money, and how much money we raised, I was honored and amazed. I was not expecting to be able to give so much. I feel like I made the perfect choice for my 16th birthday. I feel like I followed in Christ’s footsteps, at least in a small way, and I was also able to serve people in need. My family took a tour of Denver Rescue Mission’s The Crossing near Stapleton, and I loved to see all the work Denver Rescue Mission is doing. I am proud to be a part of that by choosing to donate my birthday money to Denver Rescue Mission.”

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— Let me leave you with these words —

Philippians 2:1-4
If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.


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