We have much to be thankful for, living here at the base of the Rocky Mountains. The diversity of our neighborhoods is uplifting, the cultural and special events are unmatched, our sports teams have incredibly loyal followings, the dining is delectable and the recreational pursuits are endless. To say nothing about our fabulous climate and the 300 plus days of sunshine! What’s not to love? Here’s how to give back in Denver.
There’s no question Denver has much to offer but what have you contributed to our community to show your gratitude? How about volunteering or making a monetary donation to a favorite charity before the end of the year?
The National Institute of Health surveys indicate volunteer work enhances all six aspects of a person’s well being: happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem, sense of control over life, physical health and (lack of) depression. Everyone has something to offer to make Denver an even more vibrant city. Make “giving” a part of your life in the next couple of months and select an organization that brings special meaning to your life.
Below are just a few charities that improve the lives of people in our Denver community. Please consider making a contribution or volunteering. You’ll help others and help your health and well-being in the process.
Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has been building simple, efficient homes for those in need. The organization acquires land, conducts fundraisers, manages logistics and ultimately selects the families who will live in the homes. Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver is one of the largest affiliates in the U.S. Habitat for Humanity builds single family homes, duplexes and townhomes across Denver and also partners with families in Globeville to complete critical repairs on existing homes through the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. The organization is always looking for volunteers to help build new homes and staff their ReStores, monetary contributions and donations of kitchen cabinets, appliances and countertops as part of their Deconstruction program.
Considered one of the best pediatric hospitals in the nation, Children’s Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora has many volunteer opportunities. If you are able to give several hours a week for a minimum six-month commitment, Children’s Hospital can use your talents. There are wide-ranging opportunities to give back to the community: from administrative duties to assisting with special events to coordinating handicapped sports for the kids. Take a look at their volunteer form and decide in what areas your talents would best help Children’s Hospital.
This is the largest private hunger relief program in Colorado. Founded in 1978, Food Bank of the Rockies provides food to over 400,000 people annually. They distribute 131,000 meals each day through more than 500 hunger relief partner agencies and direct service programs in Colorado and Wyoming. They are extremely efficient, dedicating 96 cents of every dollar directly to food distribution. To keep the wheels turning on this huge operation, they are always looking for volunteers to help with distribution, reclamation, packing boxes, assisting in community kitchens, pulling and building orders, produce sorting and office work, especially during the week.
The Delores Project provides safe, comfortable shelter and personalized services for unaccompanied women and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. The group works to end homelessness by advocating for housing solutions. The Delores Project relies on thousands of volunteers who support the organization with their donation of time and expertise. Ninety percent of the meals and snacks (nearly 50,000 each year) served at The Delores Project are provided by volunteers. These donations of meals in combination with in-kind donations of house supplies, saves nearly $90,000 each year. Below are several volunteer opportunities regularly available at The Delores Project.
- Meal provider (cooks meal either off-site or at The Delores Project for 50 – 70 people)
- Meal server (helps serve meals that are brought in by other groups)
- Errand Runner (picks up donations, delivers laundry, etc.)
- Shelter Organization and Clean Up
- In-Kind Donation Drive
Do you teach Yoga or Zumba? Are you a massage therapist or hair stylist? What about an artist? Whatever your area of expertise, The Delores Project may need your services.
This organization works to ensure that all children have the opportunity to pursue higher education, fulfill their potential, and achieve their dreams. Empowering children (“Dreamers”) in low-income communities to graduate from high school by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in post-secondary school, along with tuition support to remove financial barriers. By helping our Dreamers gain access to college, we are putting them on a different academic and life trajectory, while having a broader impact on the students’ families and the generations that follow.
IHDF works with Dreamers after school, on the weekends, and over the summer for over ten years, developing long-term relationships with Dreamers and their families. We provide academic and socio-emotional support to Dreamers, equipping them with the confidence and life skills needed to pursue their most ambitious dreams.
Project Worthmore was founded in 2011 by Frank and Carolyn Anello as a response to the acute need for assistance of the refugee families in their community.
From its meager beginnings, offering makeshift English classes in living rooms, they now offer six comprehensive programs to thousands of refugee clients. Around half of the staff are from the refugee community, helping the organization to better listen, empower and support those who have come here to rebuild their lives. Strategically located off of east Colfax, Project Worthmore is in the heart of the refugee community and therefore easily accessed by clients. Our team and impact continue to grow as we play a role in supporting people during the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
If you are interested in volunteering, contact email@example.com or check out their website.
(Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in November of 2018. It has been edited and updated to provide current information).