Hi there! My name is Sophie. I was an intern at Project Helping this past summer. As an intern, I got to experience a lot of the amazing events that Project Helping organizes. Now, I’m looking back to recall my top 5 favorites places to volunteer. It is pretty hard to go wrong with volunteer events; wherever you decide to go, you will always make an impact and have a great time. All the volunteer events I attended were absolutely amazing, so making this list was very hard. But here are my top 5 favorite places to volunteer:
5) Denver Rescue Mission: The Crossing
You can find my post about volunteering here. Denver Rescue Mission is a nonprofit dedicated to serving the needs of people experiencing homelessness. At The Crossing, they provide services such as case management, meals, and counseling for both individuals and families. When I volunteered there, we served dinner to the people in the program. What stood out to me was how friendly everyone was; I always got a “please” and a “thank you” with every serving. Every person who came through the line provided an opportunity for a connection. I got to chat with people about everything from grandma’s cookie recipe to characters in the Marvel movies. I walked away from the experience feeling fulfilled and glad that I made a difference.
4) DeLaney Community Farm
Here you can find my previous post about it. The DeLaney Community Farm is a project that came out of a collaboration between Denver Urban Gardens and Project Worthmore. They employ and support refugees through sustainable farming while providing the community with freshly grown produce. DeLaney Farm was my very first event with Project Helping! It was a beautiful day in May when I spent the morning planting and plowing at the farm. The best part about the experience was meeting the other volunteers and planting the tiny, cute dill plants. Spending the morning outside on such a nice day was the highlight of my week. If you want to see some really cute plants and work on your farmer’s tan, I definitely recommend that you volunteer at the DeLaney Community Farm.
3) Treasure House of Hope
More about Treasure House of Hope here. The best way to describe the experience is to say that it felt like my soul was removed from my body, rinsed off, and put back in. They are a nonprofit that helps people who have gone through tough circumstances get back on their feet. Every Friday, they need volunteers to help them bake bread. The best part of the volunteer experience is working alongside such amazing, caring, and friendly people. The second best part was the satisfaction of such an efficient system, followed closely by the delicious smell of baking bread. I had such a great time volunteering there that I didn’t want the night to end. If you love bread, want to feel all warm and fuzzy inside, or need a hug, then I highly recommend that you volunteer at Treasure House of Hope.
2) The Gathering Place
I love The Gathering Place so much that I’ve written about it twice, which you can find here and here. This place will always have a very special place in my heart. The Gathering Place is a day shelter for women, families, and transgender individuals. Project Helping volunteers cook and serve a pancake breakfast to the individuals at the shelter. The kitchen provides a great atmosphere to bond with other volunteers! Also, if you want to become a pancake making master, then this is definitely the place to do it. But I think my favorite part about the experience was getting a tour of the facility. By walking through the halls, you get to see the impact that you are making; it really makes you feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself.
1) Project C.U.R.E.
My absolute favorite place to volunteer has got to be Project C.U.R.E.. You can read about my first event there right here. They are a nonprofit that heavily relies on volunteers to help them collect, sort, and package medical supplies that are sent to third world countries. In the two hours that you spend there, you will touch thousands of lives without even realizing it. Volunteers are needed to sort donated medical supplies. To be honest, it’s a little like drinking from a firehose. The system of numbers of bins can be overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, everything goes fairly smoothly. I love Project C.U.R.E. because it was basically my happy place. Number systems, organization, and a fast-paced environment are my favorite! It’s thrilling to finish one box and start another, or to finally figure out which bin something goes it. Everyone will enjoy volunteering there, and you might just walk away with some extra knowledge about medical supplies.