Thursday, August 27, 2015

Volunteer Spotlight - Experience Is Golden

Daron is one of those people whose bright smile and attitude makes you feel at ease. Humbly, she gives thanks to Extreme Community Makeover for opening doors for her career path. Currently, she is the Corporate Event Planner for the nonprofit Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance. She is thankful to be in a job that is a perfect fit. Daron can remember a time, after graduating college, when she did not have the experience she needed to move her towards her desired career path in event planning. That is when Extreme Community Makeover came along. 

The ECM Fun Day Event is a success Daron now looks back on. This event is a volunteer appreciation BBQ and Daron remembers planning this annual event in its early stages. Fundraising campaigns, event planning, admin work, and helping with Saturday Work Days kept her busy throughout the internship. The chance to see the ins and outs of the nonprofit world was invaluable to Daron. She planned events and fundraising campaigns from start to finish. With this experience, she landed a job with Colorado Biz Magazine as their Event Coordinator; leading Daron to her current position with Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance. 

"At the end of the day, I owe my career success to Angela. She took a chance on me and gave me a break. She was so encouraging," graciously says Daron. She found out about the internship with ECM through an internship nonprofit matchmaker. Immediately, Daron knew it would be a good fit. She had the opportunity to see people's lives changed and their communities transformed. She sensed that the people involved with ECM truly cared. She felt she was with like-minded people. 

Volunteering gives you a new perspective on life. It can change your heart and allow you to see people and your community in a new way. For Daron, it not only did all these things, but also gave her a stepping stone into gaining valuable skills to reach her career dreams. Sometimes, we need to give a little in order to gain a little. So whether, you want to gain a new friend, gain a new perspective, gain a new skill, etc. consider giving of yourself through volunteering. 

A true testimony to the value and structure of Extreme Community Makeover is that Daron still volunteers with ECM. Angela and the folks at ECM have become family to Daron. "It's truly inspiring how Angela cares and all the good work she does," says Daron with a smile. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

8.22.15 ECM Work Day - La Alma/Lincoln Park Neighborhood

PICU Sunshine

Summary of 8.22.15 ECM Work Day:
  • Volunteers Participated - 10
  • Projects Completed - 2
  • Volunteer Hours - 40

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Back to School Safety

It's back to school time and kids are heading out the door to join their classmates. In all the back to school fun, remember some general safety tips for school travel in your neighborhood. Make sure to talk to your child about these safety tips.

Travel Tips 

School Bus

  • If your child’s school bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses one at all times when in the bus
  • Do not move around on the bus
  • Check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing
  • Always remain in clear view of the bus driver
  • Teach children the proper way to get on and off the bus 


  • Wear a seat belt or age and size appropriate car safety seat or booster seat
  • All children under 13 years of age should ride in the rear seat of vehicles
  • Do not allow your teen to drive while eating, drinking, or talking on a cell phone


  • Always wear a bicycle helmet
  • Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic
  • Use appropriate hand signals
  • Respect traffic lights, stop signs and rules of the road (teach them the rules of the road)
  • Wear bright color clothing to increase visibility

Walking to School 

  • A safe route with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection
  • Consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision
  • Bright colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers
  • Talk to your child about stranger danger 

General Tips

  • Drawstrings at the waist or bottom of jackets should extend no more than 3 inches to prevent catching in car and school bus doors or getting caught on playground equipment
  • Check the surfaces around playground equipment at schools and parks
  • Make sure the child's backpack is the appropriate size (never wider or longer than your child's torso and never hanging more than 4 inches below the waist)
  • Buy a backpack with reflective material 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Take the Food Recovery Challenge

Did you know that roughly 37 million tons of food was wasted in the United States in 2013, and that 95 percent of this material was thrown away? Through the Food Recovery Challenge, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is partnering with organizations and businesses in order to prevent and reduce wasted food and encouraging consumers to reduce their waste as well. By participating in the Food Recovery Challenge, you can save money, protect the environment and help your community by purchasing less, donating your extra food, and composting.

If your business or organization is looking to reduce wasted food through prevention, donation, or composting, consider becoming an official Food Recovery Challenge program participant. Program participants receive free technical assistance and a listing on the national EPA participant page. For more information and to join this challenge, visit

There are many ways that individuals can participate in the Food Recovery Challenge. Here are some quick tips on how to reduce wasted food in your home:
þ  Shop your refrigerator first! Cook or eat what you already have at home before buying more.
þ  Plan your menu before you go shopping and buy only those things on your menu.
þ  Buy only what you realistically need and will use. Buying in bulk only saves money if you are able to use the food before it spoils.
þ  If safe and healthy to do so, use the edible parts of food that you normally do not eat. For example, stale bread can be used to make croutons, beet tops can be sautéed for a delicious side dish, and vegetable scraps can be made into stock.
þ  Find out how to store fruits and vegetables so they stay fresh longer inside or outside your refrigerator.
þ  Freeze, preserve, or can your surplus fruits and vegetables - especially abundant seasonal produce.
þ  Compost food scraps rather than throwing them away. Simply sign up for the Denver Composts program (if your home is eligible) or learn how to compost in your own back yard by taking a free Learn to Compostclass, offered May through October. Visit or call 311 (720-913-1311) to learn more about both compost options. 
þ  Donate nutritious, safe, and untouched food to food banks to help those in need.
þ  At restaurants, order only what you can finish by asking about portion sizes and being aware of side dishes included with entrees. Take any leftovers home with you and eat them as part of your next meal.

Reducing wasted food will save you money, reduce methane emissions and lower your carbon footprint, conserve energy and resources, and support your community.  Visit the EPA at  for more information on how to start reducing your waste today!

8.8.15 ECM Work Day - Barnum Neighborhood

Bethany United Methodist Church

Dakota Ridge High School Drama Department


Summary of 8.8.15 ECM Work Day:
  • Volunteers Participated - 20
  • Projects Completed - 2
  • Volunteer Hours - 80

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Volunteer Spotlight - Family Time

We all know that volunteering is good for the soul. It brings a smile to those around us and helps transform our communities. Extreme Community Makeover has over 3,500 volunteers per year. We are privileged to meet wonderful people who are making a difference in our communities and reshaping lives.

The Gonzales Family at
ECM Fun Day, 2014

The Gonzales Family has been with Extreme Community Makeover for over seven years. Tammy and Charles have been volunteering with their two kids, Ethan and Ivy, on a regular basis. To them, giving their time to lend a helping hand is a great opportunity to spend time together as a family and helps them to bond. "Volunteering has taught me to work better with my family and with the community," says daughter Ivy. And, they would all agree that, volunteering not only helps to strengthen them as a family, but it also is a lot of fun.

One fond memory is of a Barnum resident Ginger. Ginger was one of those people that you just don't forget. She had spunk and charm. They enjoyed hanging out with Ginger and she truly touched them as a family. Ginger passed away a few months ago, but she will remain with them as a family and they are thankful to have enjoyed getting to know such a wonderful lady.
Ginger & Ivy
Extreme Community Makeover provides a unique opportunity for families, groups and individuals to get out into their communities and make a difference. The Gonzales family is grateful for their experience with ECM and they will continue to put a smile on someone's face by giving their time through volunteering.

Volunteering on July 25, 2015

ECM has plenty of opportunities for you and your family to volunteer. The next Works Days are Saturday August 8, Saturday August 22, and Saturday September 12. And, you can check out our fall schedule by viewing our calendar.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 2015 Newsletter: Volunteers from Around the World

I've always thought it's neat to see how many volunteers from around Denver participate in Extreme Community Makeover projects. But this past month brought another interesting dynamic - volunteers from around the world!  We had a group of students from Japan, as well as a summer camp representing youth from countries such as Brazil, France, Israel, Slovenia, and more. If you haven't had a chance to join a volunteer project in your own backyard this year, we have many opportunities through the fall...and you don't need to travel as many miles as the volunteers I just mentioned.
Angela Bomgaars

ECM Work Days

If you want to join an upcoming Work Day as an individual, click here to register.  If you want to get a group involved for a future Work Day, click here for the calendar of dates and then click here to register. Here is what's happening this month:

  Saturday, August 8 - 9:00 am (Barnum Neighborhood)
  3501 West 1st Avenue, Denver, 80219 - Bethany United Methodist Church

  Saturday, August 22 - 9:00 am (La Alma/Lincoln Park Neighborhood)
  910 Kalamath Street, Denver, 80204 - His Love Fellowship

Help Us Keep You Updated

Some of you might be aware that we have a really fun event coming up in November and we hope to be able to mail you an invite. Please update your address and any other contact info so we can keep you in the loop! 
Update Your Contact Info

ECM Fun Day: Sun Aug 9

There is still time to RSVP for our volunteer appreciation BBQ on Sunday, August 9 from 4:30-6:30 pm at Barnum Park. I hope you can come by so we can thank you for your efforts to make a difference in Denver neighborhoods!  Just let us know how many people will be joining you.

Volunteer Happy Hour: Thur Sept 10

July Volunteers

Thank you to all the volunteers who traveled many miles to volunteer with ECM during the month of July, representing many different states and countries around the world!

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