Some days bring sunshine, some days bring rain, but regardless of the weather, every day brings the opportunity to Be Kind and Do Good. Saturday morning brought a cold rain- the kind that makes you want to stay curled up on the couch reading a book (or this particular morning, watching an American girl marry into British royalty!) But for the volunteers of Extreme Community Makeover, we slipped into our rain coats, grabbed a coffee, and headed into the streets of West Denver. A little rain would not slow down the chance to Be Kind and Do Good.
As I stood at the check-in table watching people from all walks of life trickle into the building, I felt an overwhelming sense of community. Here we all were, early morning on a rainy weekend, piling into a room at Confluence Ministries, to discuss details of the work day to come. Each person, each group, committing their time to the betterment of a neighborhood. It really is quite a sight! I appreciate this coming together at the beginning of the day- a time to connect the volunteers with the mission and the mission with the volunteers.
From the start of the day to the end of the day, I saw volunteers move about in the rain carrying trash, debris and the biggest smiles; everyone working side by side with people they may have never even met. This is one of the joyous aspects of these work days-connecting with one another and meeting individuals. I had the pleasure of meeting, Di, a new member to the Survey Team for Extreme Community Makeover. Di has recently relocated to Colorado from California, and she wanted the opportunity to give back and make friends in her new home. We drove from house project to house project meeting residents and providing information about community resources available to them. How thankful I was to have met this woman who kept me laughing and engaged all day long. ECM does this for people: provides a space to build relationships and memories. A welcomed side effect of volunteering.
Another welcome side effect of volunteering on ECM work days is seeing the immediate changes in the neighborhoods we work in. This particular Saturday we transformed four different alleys in West Colfax- creating a cleaner, safer place to live- in just one day! It is incredible what we can accomplish when we work together. ECM work days show how influential individuals can be when they team up for a common goal.
By the end of the day, we were all a bit colder and wetter than when we had started- and a bit happier and more connected to each other-with another work day in the books for ECM and another neighborhood changed by the helping hands of our communities.
Be Kind! Do good!
~Kalie, ECM Program Coordinator