After what seemed to feel like a never-ending winter, spring finally peaked it’s beautiful head out on a gratifying and warm Saturday morning in the Globeville Neighborhood of Denver. The neighborhood was alive with children biking down Sherman Street, horses (yes, horses in Denver) trotting down 49th Avenue, neighbors conversing on Logan, and volunteers gathering outside the Stapleton Recreational Center ready to get their hands dirty.
Fifteen volunteers rallied together to take on some rather large projects in the area, including clearing out yard waste for a new tenant in the neighborhood, trimming some trees and bushes to promote new blooms for the spring, and lots and lots of leaf raking! The volunteers and Extreme Teams not only worked tirelessly to complete the projects given to them, but also were able to take on a few other small projects asked of them by surrounding neighbors.
With a day as beautiful as Saturday, most college students may have been found relaxing before finals by the pool, playing a game of sand volleyball at Wash Park, or heck, even just grabbing a bite to eat outside for the first time this year. However, two local college students from the University of Denver had decided to take this beautiful day and spend it doing what they truly love to do: helping others.
Mayra and Lana heard about the opportunity from one of their college professors at the University of Denver, who mentioned to them it would be a great volunteer opportunity. However, volunteering their time is nothing new for these two young women, who mentioned they spend a lot of time trying to help others and give back to the community. “I’ve volunteered at hospitals, I’ve run marathons, and I try to do a lot of things like this,” Mayra said, “I just really like seeing communities coming together and learning about each other. It’s just – I love it.”
Lana also mentioned how she enjoys volunteering with her youth group as well as finding opportunities like Extreme Community Makeover that allows her to meet people who are both volunteers and residents in the area. “It’s cool to see all of us here on a Saturday morning, and cleaning up people’s houses together,” Lana says, “And the residents are just really kind, and really open. It goes beyond them just being nice, they are just really, really welcoming to us.”
Mayra and Lana were a shining example of our theme this year of getting our hands dirty. The raking, the weed pulling, and the run-in with several (friendly) insects, really showed the dedication these two women have for the community. The heat could not deter them from making sure they completed all the tasks given to them. In fact, Mayra and Lana even stayed once the major projects were done to help out with a few other projects that only called for a few hands.
After completing all morning assignments, all of the dedicated volunteers and the amazing residents of Globeville were able to come together, laugh, and enjoy some delicious, and much needed pizza and lemonade. It became apparent that this is truly what these workdays are all about: making new connections, and enjoying the presence of people you may never have had the chance to meet without these types of opportunities.
The Extreme Community Makeover Volunteers are already looking forward to a new set of projects, a new set of neighbors, and a new set of memories that will be made.
~Jenna, Extreme Teams – Communications Team