My first day as a
volunteer with Extreme Community Makeover (ECM) was on August 9, 2014,
in the Barnum neighborhood of Denver. I am a new volunteer with the Communications Team. My assignment was to check out a Work Day and blog about my experience.
works with volunteers to deliver on the organization’s two-pronged
mission to spruce up neighborhoods and strengthen relationships within
communities. The organization’s slogan, “building tomorrow . . . one block at a time” encompasses both.
Two weeks before our August 9 Work Day, a crew went out to residents in the Barnum neighborhood (between Ellsworth and 1st Avenue along Winona Street) to ask residents if they had any outside projects they needed help completing.
Residents committed to pitch in whatever materials and labor they could
for painting, landscaping, and debris removal projects. A list of
projects was put together and two weeks later a group of volunteers
showed up, along with additional materials and a gigantic dumpster. This
cycle repeats every two weeks.
While volunteers were sprucing up the
Barnum neighborhood, another crew was out in one of ECM’s other target
neighborhoods setting up for the Work Day on August 23. By the end of its 2014 season, ECM will have completed 60+ Work Days across the city!
were 15 homes on the list for August 9. Projects included weed removal,
mowing, tree trimming, general yard work, and painting. I spent some
time with a couple of the homeowners.
moved into her house on Winona Street about a year ago and is fixing up
the inside. She needed help getting the exterior of her house painted (the whole house in a day). Without skipping a beat, volunteers helped
her finish scraping and prepping the house for painting. Just as Kelly
went to pick up the paint sprayer, the weather turned stormy so she
ended up painting about half of the house with friends and relatives on
Sunday. ECM always offers to help finish projects if the homeowners need
the block, Miguel also just purchased his house after his sister Emma
and brother-in-law Jorge convinced him of the benefits of home ownership
such as financial stability, the ability to borrow against an asset if
needed, and the tax deduction for interest expense. Like Kelly, Miguel
is fixing up the inside of the house for his family before they move in.
The kids aren’t too impressed with how long it takes to fix things up,
but the house is coming along. Miguel, Emma, Jorge, and several other
family members were working alongside volunteers to trim trees, pull
weeds, and clean up debris.
also made burritos to feed volunteers. Emma says, “We are like this. You
help us and we want to do something to give back.” She was surprised to
learn that ECM was feeding volunteers and residents lunch at Bethany United Methodist Church, the community partner hosting the Work Day.
Lunch is a big part of building relationships in the community. So, I
urged Emma to take the family to lunch and bring the burritos.
All in all, I enjoyed my Work Day experience and I am looking forward spending more time getting to know and creating relationships with ECM volunteers and Denver residents.
~Mary J., Communications Team
*ECM serves eight Denver neighborhoods: Barnum, Elyria, Globeville, La Alma/Lincoln Park, Swansea, Villa Park, West Colfax, and Westwood.
Creating community through neighborhood activities and volunteer projects.
Denver Mayor, Michael B. Hancock, is proud to launch the 2nd year of Denver Days. Denver Days is a citywide effort to help neighbors get to know each other and get involved with their communities. Strong communities are vital to a healthy Denver. Therefore, the city of Denver is waiving all permit fees for individuals, groups, organizations, etc. to host block parties, events, etc. Denver Days is a great way to encourage community involvement and general connectivity to your neighbors and to your community.
Denver Days is August 2nd through August 10th. It's too late to get in the game this year. However, below are some ideas to help you plan your event for next year.
Throw a Block Party!
Prepare your block party with the help of our handy tool kit. It will give you tips on organizing, creating committees, managing budgets, creative activity ideas and more. You can also download and customize our full-color Denver Days flyer for your event.
Organize a Service Project
projects are a great way to help improve your neighborhood while at the
same time building a sense of community. These ideas will help you get
Host a Social Activity
Hosting a neighborhood social
event is a great way to come together year round.
Organize a group walk or bicycle ride
Do a cooking demonstration
Host a dance, aerobic or yoga class
Tour a nearby historic district
Host an outing to a local sporting event
Have a neighborhood art show/competition
Host a furry friends pet show/party
Organize 'Snow Buddies' for winter shoveling
ECM's Denver Day Participation
Extreme Community Makeover is participating in Denver Days in two ways!
1) ECM Fun Day - click here to RSVP for the event.
2) Work Day - Service Project - Saturday, August 9th.
If you'd like to participate in our work day click here.
Help ECM build stronger communities in Denver through your financial support.
Checks can be made to:
Extreme Community Makeover
and sent to:
Extreme Community Makeover
PO Box 102586
Denver, CO 80250-2586
The past two months have been packed with volunteers and projects. A number of the volunteers have been students who have traveled to Denver from around the country. I'm reminded of how important service opportunities are for learning and character development for youth today, as this note reminded me.....
"We just wanted to thank you so much for allowing our students a place to volunteer at all summer and for sharing your vision of a benevolent, more neighborly community with all of us. Please keep up the important work that all the volunteers contribute to the people of Denver."
- Youthworks summer staff
Thank you for the role you play in making Denver a great place to live for all of our neighbors!
Angela Bomgaars, Executive Director
ECM Work Days
Click here to view the schedule for all ECM Work Days. To register a group, click here. To register an individual, click here.
To get involved, please RSVP to Angela and follow the links below to fill out the appropriate liability form.
ECM Fun Day: Sun Aug 10
The 2014 BMW Championship is coming to Denver and will be held at Cherry Hills Country Club on September 1-7. You may be wondering what this has to do with ECM? We have the opportunity to staff the food and beverage tents during the tournament and a percentage of sales will then be donated back to ECM!
These are the shifts we are aiming to cover:
- Wednesday September 3: 6:30 am - 1:30 pm AND 11:00 am - Close
- Friday September 5: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm AND 11:00 am - Close
- Sunday September 7: 7:00 am - 2:00 pm AND 11:00 am - Close
To sign up for a shift, fill out your name and contact info here. Feel free to invite anyone to join you. Spaces will be available on a first come-first serve basis.
Save the Date: Fri Nov 14
Our annual "Art is in the Air" event will take place Friday, November 14 at 7:00 pm at the Artwork Networkgallery. More details will be coming your way in the next month, but make sure to mark your calendar now for this fun evening of appetizers, drinks, desserts, a raffle, and silent auction to support Extreme Community Makeover!
ECM had another strong showing of volunteers in the month of July. Thanks to all those who traveled many miles to come to Denver and those who served in their own backyards!
Let's face it, we all have very busy lives. But, if we'd take a breather from our hectic schedules to volunteer we could learn a lot of valuable things and improve our quality of life. Here are some benefits in being a volunteer.
It Does the Body Good
Reduces Stress: Focusing on someone other than yourself interrupts tension-producing patterns.
Strengthened Immune System: Emotions such as optimism, joy and control are created when volunteering. Those positive vibes strengthen a person's immune system.
Physical Exercise: Depending on what type of volunteering you are doing, you can get some great physical exercise.
It Brings People Together
Meet New Friends: Volunteering is a great way to meet new people with similar interests.
Strengthens Group Dynamics: Whether it's a church group, family or organizational group, volunteering strengthens trust. It builds teamwork by uniting the group to work towards a common goal.
It Promotes Personal Growth and Self Esteem
Increases Relationship Skills: Interacting with your peers or people in different age groups, people with a different socioeconomic status, etc. in a group setting helps foster relationship skills.
Increases Self-Confidence: Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence,
self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and
the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment.
It Strengthens Communities
It Shows That People Care: Communities are revised and revamped when people show that they care about the community they live in by helping others with their practical needs.
Beautifies a Community: Whether you are volunteering for ECM by cleaning a yard, painting a fence, etc. or volunteering for another organization, you can help make the community more appealing through the community improvement projects.
Builds Neighborhood Comradery: Volunteers helping out a particular neighborhood encourage others living in that neighborhood to reach out to each other and lend a helping hand.
Watch the video and learn what volunteers from Denver Community Church learned from their experience volunteering.
ECM continues to move forward with organizational excellence. We take pride in our leadership and the expertise they bring to the table. Due to the knowledge and experience of our leadership team, ECM is able to move forward with confident organizational and management decisions.
~Board Member, Keo Frazier
Ms. Frazier has an innovative mindset and is a strategic thinker. She has been involved with a number of marketing, media and research projects that hone in on her skills in market research, market analysis, and strategic marketing implementation. She has worked on brand promotions projects such as the United TED Airline launch and Super Target fresh produce awareness campaign. Currently, Ms. Frazier combines all of her expertise under one nameKeos Marketing LLC: Keos Marketing Group and Non Profit Resource. Ms. Frazier is a Colorado native and takes pride in her civic duty of leadership and giving back to her community.
Why did you decide to become a board member?
I attended an ECM event with ULI and I was immediately taken by the concept of building a community with the people in the community. I am committed to serving my community through any means I can and ECM seemed to be a great fit for my serving goals and the vision of our City.
2) From your perspective, what is the biggest difference ECM makes in the
communities it serves in?
Bringing neighbors together to learn to care for each other as they care for themselves.