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Monday, August 3, 2015

It's a Block Party Kind of Day!

Block party, was definitely the theme of this ECM Work Day.  Not only because of the upbeat tunes provided by resident Jessica and family, but also because of the inspired message given by Restoration CommunityChurch’s associate pastor, Nanci. Nanci challenged volunteers to fully take in the day with thoughts and actions of community, personal growth, and service. 

Volunteer and youth pastor, Lance, spoke cheerily as he described his work with Restoration Community Church and their annual participation with Extreme Community Makeover. The community attitude of Lance and his team did not go unnoticed by Globeville resident, Uriel.  Uriel witnessed the happiness and fun as volunteers painted his house and was so moved by the experience, that he was inspired to sign up to participate in future projects to give back to his community.  For me, I was moved by the energy created as people came together to serve one another, but also to see our youth, such as Uriel being inspired to help as well.

The connection and conversations continued as volunteers and residents shared their stories.  Katie took a break from her painting as she checked in on her ten week old daughter…ECM’s youngest volunteer.  Obviously, Katie’s daughter couldn’t do much in the way of physical work, but her sweet disposition helped to keep volunteers and residents in an upbeat mood. A common theme shared among residents assisted by ECM, as confirmed by Jessica, is of ECM’s perfect timing.  Her husband recently had bypass surgery and wasn’t able to keep up on the maintenance of their home.  Jessica said she was still grieving over the passing of her daughter in February, but was grateful and moved by the support and kindness of the volunteers with ECM. She and her niece, Rika asked for suggestions on how to improve their home’s curb appeal. I suggested they plant a flowering bush in memory of their daughter…they loved the idea.  Like resident Uriel, Rika was inspired by ECM’s work to better Denver’s neighborhoods and asked how she could contribute.

As I drove away from Globeville and the residents I met today, I quickly reflected on how moved I am by the work and inspiration that Extreme Community Makeover and volunteers are contributing to our city and our community.  Truly, all it takes is one act of kindness to create a ripple effect of inspiration, service, and personal growth.  To witness service and kindness in another is surely a recipe for positive change and growth; so thank you to Restoration Community Church and our individual volunteers for being a beautiful example.  Also, special thanks to our Globeville residents for letting us into your homes, your lives, and for your kindness.

- Lisa, ECM Communications Team

Friday, July 31, 2015

You're Invited to ECM Fun Day on Sun Aug 9



I hope you can come out for some fun at the park and celebrate service in our city! ECM volunteers are the foundation of all that Extreme Community Makeover is doing in Denver. Every person who serves with ECM is a stepping stone to a brighter future for our neighborhoods. It doesn't matter when you've volunteered or how, what matters is that you did... and if for some reason you haven't had the opportunity to volunteer, please come meet some great people and find out how you can.

August 9th is all about celebrating what we are able to do together to serve our city. So please join me for a BBQ, invite your friends, bring your family, and get ready to have some fun. See you there!

ECM Fun Day, Sunday August 9th from 4:30-6:30 pm
Barnum Park: 360 Hooker Street, Denver, 80219

Sincerely,
Angela Bomgaars
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Your Neighbors and Nextdoor



Nextdoor is a great way to bring neighbors together. It's a free online site that connects you to your neighbors. Depending on the interest of the neighborhood, the topics of each neighborhood will vary. Members have successfully used the site to find a local service provider, find their lost pet, to borrow tools, prevent crime and discover fun local events and more. To join the site, you must verify your address. The verification process helps to prevent non-residents from bombarding the group with spam and such.

Here at Extreme Community Makeover, we encourage people to connect with their neighbors to build stronger, safer, more tight-knit communities. Of course, there is always the good old-fashioned way to connect by simply knocking on your neighbor's door to introduce yourself. And, fortunately, sites like Nextdoor are also available to help neighbors connect using social media.



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

7.25.15 ECM Work Day - Globeville Neighborhood

Restoration Community Church

Individuals

Summary of 7.25.15 ECM Work Day:
  • Volunteers Participated - 75
  • Projects Completed - 10
  • Volunteer Hours - 375

Friday, July 17, 2015

Recycling Paint

Recycling Paint is Now Easy and Free with the Launch of Colorado’s New PaintCare Program



Starting July 1, 2015, it will be more convenient than ever to recycle paint in Colorado. Residents and businesses in Colorado will be able to takeunwanted, leftover paint for recycling to participating paint retailers (paint, hardware, and home improvement stores) that have volunteered to take back paint. There will be no charge for dropping off paint at any PaintCare drop-off site.
To find the nearest drop-off site, use PaintCare’s online search tool at paintcare.org or call the PaintCare hotline at  

1-855-724-6809

 
For information on what materials are accepted in the PaintCare program and policies on bringing in your paint to a drop-off site, visitpaintcare.org/paintcare-states/colorado/ or download the copy of theColorado PaintCare Program brochure.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

7.11.15 ECM Work Day - Westwood Neighborhood

Westwood Unidos & Individuals
Summary of 7.11.15 ECM Work Day:
  • Volunteers Participated - 25
  • Alleys Improved - 1
  • Volunteer Hours - 125

Friday, July 10, 2015

Cooperation, Connection, Volunteering

It was a hot one as volunteers worked side by side with residents in the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoodsNot one complaint was heard as all took on their tasks with pride and care.  The theme this day was about cooperation, connection, and volunteerism not only amongst volunteers within ECM, but also amongst the residents. 


The energy on this block was definitely buzzing, not just because of the chainsaw that DCC (Denver Community Church) volunteer Chris was yielding, but also the buzzing energy one feels when they connect with another being; very evident as Chris, nicknamed “tree man” (by me), walked from home to home trimming trees in the neighborhood. He worked alongside residents to salvage trees (thought dead), but really just needed some TLC.  As sawdust rained over us from the tree trimming, resident Vicky stood with volunteers and shared stories about her life, and how she believes life is a miracle as Vicky suggested was evident when ECM showed up at her door to offer help…just when she needed it.

I learned that resident Cory and his roommates were AmeriCorps volunteers.  It was so refreshing to see young adults giving back to their community. Fellow roommate Laura works with the I Have a Dream foundation. I Have a Dream works with disadvantaged youth, and Laura mentors these teens.  She mentioned that she and her group of teens have signed up to work with ECM. Now that is volunteerism coming full circle!




The AmeriCorps volunteers weren’t the only young adults with big hearts and a willingness to give back to their communities – we also saw this winning attitude in Ana.  Ana lives with her parents and brother and acts as interpreter for her Spanish speaking parents.  Ana not only impressed me with her personality and kind demeanor, but she also found favor amongst the DCC volunteers.  Ana suggested we check to see if her elderly neighbor needed help.  Ana said she had recently taken her neighbor to the hospital when she fell and injured her hip.  Ana shared that she wanted to become an EMT (emergency medical technician), and that she would also like to do some volunteer work, as well.  I referred her to ECM and also told her to talk to her fellow neighbor Cory - working with AmeriCorps.


Once again, I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside people with positive attitudes and who want to make a difference in the world through cooperation, connection, and giving.  Thank you to Denver Community Church, Fehr & Peers, Pinnacle National Honor Society, and the individual volunteers for their help, and to our residents in Elyria Swansea neighborhood for sharing their stories.

With Gratitude,


-Lisa, ECM Communications Team