It takes a village to build a community – and a city – and there are plenty of opportunities for those new to Denver that want to give back to their new home and help others through volunteering. Whether you’ve just moved here, are considering Denver as a place to make a new home, or just want to help out and meet new people, you’ll quickly discover that there are a variety of options to fit your personality, skills, and passions.
New to volunteer work? You might want to consider offering your help on a short-term basis at a few different places before making a long-term commitment to one or more. You’ll find that your choice of volunteer opportunities can be quite diverse, from service to hospitals, cultural arts venues, and animal facilities to nature centers and parks. There are also a lot of opportunities to help with human services, such as delivering meals to the elderly, helping in homeless shelters, and assisting with children.
Strengthening Communities: Human Services
There’s nothing quite as rewarding as helping others in need, and those who have a strong desire to do so will soon discover that there are a variety of human services organizations in the metro Denver area that always need the assistance of caring and willing volunteers. The area organizations listed below help to coordinate volunteers for agencies and nonprofit groups.
Metro Volunteers303-282-1234 www.metrovolunteers.org
Volunteer at a local nonprofit, and you can Change Yourself and Change the World. That’s the tagline of Metro Volunteers, the expert resource center on volunteerism in the metro Denver area. In the Denver community, Metro Volunteers helps give volunteerism its visibility and voice.
Mile High United Way303-433-8383 www.unitedway.org
Mile High United Way partners with more than 80 community organizations to help people in metro Denver, and volunteers are an integral part of the organization’s operation. Metro Denver residents help assess community needs, raise and distribute contributions, set policy, examine the budget, and promote the organization’s message in the community. The group’s community agenda has five priority areas, including School Readiness to support affordable early childhood education; Youth Success to promote and encourage positive role models and after-school activities; Reducing Family, School and Community Violence through crisis intervention and violence prevention programs; Tools for Success that include continuing education, affordable housing, and a reliable support system with asset-building opportunities; and Emergency Assistance to help families and individuals with food, shelter, affordable health care, and transitional housing.
Volunteers of America303-297-0408 www.voacolorado.org
The Volunteers of America – Colorado Branch offers 30 human service programs within the metro Denver area and are always in need of volunteers for ongoing projects. The VOA service areas include active and homebound elderly; those affected by AIDS; homeless men and women; battered women and their children; families in crisis; and at-risk teenagers.
The VOA also has projects for groups of volunteers from church, business and civic organizations. Group projects include hosting canned food drives for low-income families and older adults; delivering Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors; preparing and serving meals to homeless women staying at the VOA Theodora House Shelter; and adopting and decorating rooms at Brandon, a shelter for battered women and their children.
The following includes a partial listing of the metro Denver organizations that accept volunteers: