This ECM Work Day was focused on alley clean-up, which gave me the opportunity to chat with our volunteers. As I made my way from volunteer to volunteer I noticed a common thread emerging – serving is a way of life. These volunteers aren’t just volunteers for the day at ECM, but they also spend their time volunteering at other organizations. People demonstrating with their lives what it means to serve, build relationships, and be a good neighbor.
Groundwork Denver/Green Team Youth partner with Denver communities to improve our physical environment and promote health and well-being. These hard working teenagers are learning skills and gaining real life experiences through their work. But, most importantly, these youth are learning what it means to be a part of a community, to give back and make a difference to another.
Prodigy Coffee is a business establishment that employees “the unlikely prodigy,” – which is our youth. These young individuals are developing skills for professional careers, social mobility, and character that Prodigy believes will enrich the city of Denver. For sure, the two teenage girls that volunteered had shining, positive personalities and demonstrated a work ethic that was impressive.
Closer to home, and a part of the community ECM worked at this day, were the women of Elyria–Swansea Block Captains. The women of this community wanted to do more for their neighborhood, and to also contribute their skills and talents, so they joined forces with other business people and opened Comal. Comal is a restaurant that features food from the many cultures that live in the Swansea neighborhood. Comal’s burritos were the featured menu item for the ECM lunch break. Again, these volunteers worked side-by-side with our other volunteers and demonstrated their outstanding work ethic, as well.
Of course the Extreme Team volunteers are a part of this common thread – serving as a way of life. Katie had just completed a year of teaching English in Puerto Vallarta. In addition to her work with Extreme Community Makeover, Katie is looking to join an organization that helps women find gainful work. Additionally, our Extreme Teams member Jean works full time with Cru High School, an organization teaching teenagers life, relationship, and leadership skills.
Truly, these volunteers are ordinary people doing extraordinary things for our city. They are selfless, hardworking, kind, compassionate and driven; people who make their life’s work about building people up, supporting their communities and…being a good neighbor.
~Lisa Baude, ECM Communications Team