Friday, October 2, 2015

Pay It Forward

The joy of being Extreme Community Makeover is we get to hear stories of how volunteering changed someone's life and changed their perspective. We are blessed to help people with their practical needs, resulting in a softening of a heart and a desire to give back.

ECM recipients, Michaela and Brian, decided to pay it forward. They had work done on their front yard and wanted to help someone else out. "They acted like it was their yard. I mean, they put that much pride into it! That's what instilled in us to say, hey we need to give back and show the same thing to help some other family or help out this organization," says Brian. Giving back is what this is all about. ECM is happy to see Denver being transformed by bringing neighbors together and building up our communities, one block at a time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

9.26.15 ECM Work Day - Elyria Swansea Neighborhood

CU Denver Business School

Gas Processors Association

Summary of 9.26.15 ECM Work Day:
  • Volunteers Participated - 30
  • Projects Completed - 9
  • Volunteer Hours - 210

Save The Date for ART IS IN THE AIR, Fri Nov 13th


Please save the date for our annual fundraiser "ART IS IN THE AIR", Friday November 13th. It will prove to be an amazing night with live music, a raffle, and a silent auction. This is a particularly special time as we celebrate "8 Years & 8 Neighborhoods" working in partnership with volunteers and residents to serve our Denver communities.

Please Save The Date
Share this with your friends

Friday November 13
from 7:00-9:30 pm
Appetizers + Drinks + Deserts + Live Art + Music

Artwork Network Gallery
878 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO

More info coming soon...

Angela Bomgaars

Friday, September 25, 2015

All About the Volunteers

Fall is here and ECM is approaching the home stretch to the end of our season. However, the energy amongst the volunteers indicated they were all in and very glad to be giving on this day. The day was focused on alley clean up, and our volunteers!

Volunteering is defined as, "a person who performs a service willingly and without pay." Willingly was certainly the attitude of the volunteers. Today, I personally focused on our ECM volunteers: Cherry Creek High School’s Big Sisters, Regis Jesuit Day for Others, Westwood Unidos, and our ECM Board of Directors. It was an eclectic community of people. However, everyone showed up with the same attitude and energy with enthusiasm for their service to our Denver neighborhoods, for their own communities, and for each other.
Once again, I was filled with pride for my fellow human beings. Pastor James’ energy was contagious as he shared his plans for creating stronger community involvement in the Westwood neighborhood. He said it is not like the old days where people came to the church, instead pastors need to go out into the community and inspire others to come to the church.  
I was also impressed with the young ladies with Cherry Creek H.S. - Big Sisters. Maya, the team leader, spoke about all the other organizations she and her group have worked with. She said she would like to get The National Honor Society group involved in the ECM efforts, as well. These ladies focused on their task with ease and a smile.
Rebecca Thompson, a mother of student at Regis High School, was working with her sons and her husband. They all happily went about their work. Rebecca said that every year more than 900 volunteers in the Regis community come together for Regis Jesuit Day for Others. She said this was an opportunity to meet other families at the school, and to meet new people at the projects they worked out. She explained that this work has inspired her to go back to her own neighborhood to see what kind of support they needed. Rebecca hopes that volunteering will plant a seed in their children to want to continue to help others the rest of their lives. Regis requires their students to graduate with a number of service hours to their community. Volunteering is something both Rebecca and her husband said is rewarding and they look forward to the event every year.
Each of my work days with ECM has deepened my respect and gratitude for this work, and especially my faith in people. I am continually shown the good in others, the need and want for community and connection, and the inspiration that comes from spending time with the residents and volunteers. Thank you, again, volunteers for your beautiful spirits and for your service!

~Lisa Baude
Communications Team 

Monday, September 14, 2015

9.12.15 ECM Work Day - Westwood Neighborhood

Cherry Creek High School Big Sisters

Regis Jesuit Day for Others

Westwood Unidos
Summary of 9.12.15 ECM Work Day:
  • Volunteers Participated - 65
  • Projects Completed - 3
  • Alleys Cleaned - 5
  • Volunteer Hours - 285

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Volunteering with Co-workers

One of the best ways to bond with your co-workers is by volunteering. Volunteering helps build teamwork by fostering stronger relationships among colleagues. It's also proven that volunteering lowers stress levels in individuals and this can contribute to higher productivity when employees are working. In addition, when volunteer activities are supported by employers, employees tend to have a more positive feelings towards their workplace.

Sarah Schmidt, with the PICU Sunshine with Children's Hospital Colorado, knows all the benefits of volunteering, plus more. She has been coordinating the volunteer activities for the PICU unit for a couple years now. "We did a different neighborhood this year. So, it was neat to see the contrast. We had two new people this year who haven't volunteered. And, just hearing them talk at work, they had an absolutely great time with the neighborhood. They really enjoyed the community involvement," expresses Sarah.

The ECM Work Day for the PICU unit was a success! The team got to bond and enjoy getting to know each other better, all the while lending a hand to a deserving La Alma/Lincoln Park resident. "PICU Sunshine will definitely be volunteering again next year. We've had two great experiences, two back-to-back summers. And, we're going to try and get more and more people involved every time we're there. We see the positivity it has on the community," says Sarah.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

September Extreme Endeavors: A Spotlight on Volunteers

Since volunteers are the backbone of what makes Extreme Community Makeover possible, I thought it would be neat to highlight some of our incredible volunteers so we can learn more about why people choose to get involved in ECM, as well as how they are making an impact right here in Denver. The Gonzales family is making memories as a family as they volunteer together, which you can read more about here. And Daron gained experience through volunteering that helped her reach career goals, which you can read about here. Check out how you can volunteer with ECM this month and who knows, maybe we'll do a Volunteer Spotlight article on you someday!
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, September 12 - 9:00 am (Westwood Neighborhood)
  3300 West Nevada Place, Denver, 80219 - Redeemer Lutheran Church

  Saturday, September 26 - 9:00 am (Elyria Neighborhood)
  4809 Race Street, Denver, 80216 - Colorado Miners

Volunteer Happy Hour: Thur Sept 10

Save the Date: Fri Nov 13

More details will be coming your way soon, but mark your calendars for our annual "Art is in the Air" event, which will be held Friday November 13 at 7:00 pm at the Artwork Network art gallery. It will be a great night!

Help Us Keep You Updated

One of the ways we can keep you informed about the November event is by taking a moment to make sure we have the correct info to stay in touch with you. Please update your address and any other contact info so we can keep you in the loop! 
Upate Your Contact

August Volunteers

Thank you to the volunteers who participated in ECM projects in August!
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