Volunteer Group Gains ‘Sense Of Community’ During Neighborhood Cleanups

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August 30, 2018
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August 31, 2018

Volunteer Group Gains ‘Sense Of Community’ During Neighborhood Cleanups

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By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4) – On a warm sunny Saturday morning, a group of volunteers worked free of charge for Denver homeowners.

“We’ll help like pull weeds, mow lawns. We’ll paint. So just things that they haven’t had time for,” said Madison Kissel.

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She is one of several volunteers with Extreme Community Makeover. They spent a few hours cleaning up an alley off of 9th Avenue and Santa Fe Drive. Executive Director of the group Angela Bomgaars says they will do a number of things to make sure neighborhoods shine.

“We do a lot of residential projects like on homes and we also do a lot of community clean ups,” Bomgaars said.

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Their goal is to help neighborhoods, which could use a little T.L.C., look fresh and clean again. Kissel says it can be incredibly rewarding.

“The sense of community I really got from the residents, the homeowners, the other volunteers it was awesome.”

Kissel has been volunteering with E.C.M. for two years now. She’s helped not only clean public spaces, but also worked on private homes. She says homeowners can be a little skeptical.

“I think initially people are like ‘What’s going on? Why do you want to help me? What’s the catch here?’”

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But she says eventually, when the crew finishes, homeowners are grateful and can see why total strangers would give up their own time to make the city we all share look a little better.

“When they come out and see us on the actual work day they are like, ‘Wow, you weren’t kidding.’”

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“When we’re done there’s that kind of feeling of satisfaction like ‘Hey, we worked really hard and we got dirty but we got something accomplished,’” Bomgaars said.

Extreme Community Makeover meets every other weekend, and they are always looking for more hands so they can tackle more projects.

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.