Neighborhood Spotlight: The Extreme Team Where “Be a Good Neighbor” is Forefront

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Neighborhood Spotlight: The Extreme Team Where “Be a Good Neighbor” is Forefront

Each year, we pick a theme, which is reflected on our t-shirts. “Be a Good Neighbor” was one of those themes a few years ago. Being a good neighbor is a huge part of Extreme Community Makeover’s goals and values. We believe that being a good neighbor actually makes a difference.

All of our Extreme Teams are built from our overall vision to be a good neighbor. However, one team in particular really stands out in regards to getting neighbors involved in the community; that is the Neighborhood Team. The Extreme teams exist for those who want a more consistent, in-depth volunteer experience. The fun part too, is that each team is associated with a particular interest. The nine other teams are the Communications, Follow-Up, Fundraising, Logistics, Photography, Projects, Supplies, Survey, and Video Teams.

Our team leader for the Neighborhood Team is Jean Johnston. Jean has been on the team for four years.

“I knew I wanted to be more involved, especially since my own neighborhood is one that is served regularly through ECM.  I believe in assets-based community development. Serving with neighbors in practical / tangible ways opens doors to deeper connection and relationship,” says Jean.

Jean has lived in the Swansea neighborhood for about eleven years now. The neighborhood has a large amount of industrial and commercial development mixed in with single-family homes.

“There have been many impacting moments through ECM. I have seen residents break down and cry and share how blown away they are that people want to serve them. It’s awesome to see community in action,” explains Jean.

Jean is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She’s lived in Denver for almost 18 years. She works with youth in Denver as part of a Christian non-profit organization. Around five years ago, some friends from her previous church came to Denver for a week to serve and learn about the Denver community. Extreme Community Makeover was one of the nonprofits they connected with that week. She is grateful that she was introduced to ECM through that experience.

“It’s so easy to be isolated and individualistic in today’s fast-paced, technology driven culture. But, when we take the time to meet our neighbors and actually talk and work together face-to-face it is powerful. Relationship matters! We are stronger when we are together.”

Some of Jean’s favorite neighborhood gems are:

  • Grow Haus: Offers freshly grown healthy food at below cost to those in the community.
  • El Guero: A taco truck that parks in the parking lot of the A Mart (near 40th and Jackson street).
  • Focus Points Community Center: Connects families with the resources they need to build strong, healthy lives, along with hosting ECM Work Days in the neighborhood

“If you are relational and enjoy the communal part of the ECM work projects, this may be the team for you! You’ll get to hear stories behind the Work Day projects and engage deeper with the people the physical projects impact!  You may even build friendships with neighbors that go beyond that day’s good work,” states Jean.

The Neighborhood Team, along with other Extreme Teams, have room for more team members. If you would like to sign up for one of the Extreme Teams, click here.

                       

© 2020 Extreme Community Makeover