The theme for our 2021 Volunteer Appreciation Week could not be more fitting—“our appreciation for volunteers grows and grows.” The twists and turns we’ve all experienced this past year have been challenging. But, it is through the deep roots in our faith and in each other that we were able to continue to grow and serve those experiencing homelessness.

Time and time again our volunteers have shown us that while it may be hard to grow in difficult circumstances, when you chose to preserve beautiful and impactful outcomes are possible.

Colossians 2:7 says, “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of our volunteers who continued to blossom alongside us this past year. It is because of you we are able to change lives every day.
Read on to find highlights about some of our incredible volunteers who have served alongside us. We hope these snippets will leave you with the same inspiration, encouragement and hope that they provided to us.

Meet Some of Our Great Volunteers!

Calen Nicholl

Meal Service Volunteer

Calen’s favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Fulfilling is the one word Calen uses to describe volunteering at the Mission.

2021 Volunteer Appreciation Week

Why Calen volunteers at the Mission: “I volunteer to help others, help my community and give back. Every volunteer shift is impactful, the ‘thank yous’ from people we serve is humbling, as well as meeting such amazing other volunteers who show up weekly with me.”

Michelle Castaneda

Meal Service Volunteer & STAR Transitional Program Mentor

Michelle’s favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Relationship is the one word Michelle uses to describe volunteering at the Mission.

Why Michelle volunteers at the Mission: “I first learned about Denver Rescue Mission’s need for additional volunteers through a friend from church, around the time the pandemic had driven us all into quarantine.

I had recently been furloughed and had always wanted to give more of my time to our community so the timing was perfect. The opportunity to serve and build relationships with program participants has been such a blessing. I pray that I have been able to offer encouragement and hope as our friends navigate through such a challenging transition in their lives.

I don’t know what I did to deserve it, but being able to witness their growth and fierce determination to live differently than they’ve known, has inspired me to walk with mercy and humility.

Denver Rescue Mission serves as a place of hope and encouragement to those who may not find it anywhere else. Participants join the program with intention and determination, seeking a new life, something different, something positive, and seeking someone who wants to see them succeed. As a volunteer at DRM, you can help make that difference. Whether you commit to serving once-a-week or 2+ times per week, you can make a difference.”

David Roberts

New Life Program Volunteer Counselor

David’s favorite Bible verse is Romans 8:14-15, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship And by him we cry, “Abba,” Father.”

A privilege is the phrase David uses to describe volunteering at the Mission.

Why David volunteers at the Mission: “I love working with the men and seeing them overcome addictions and other challenges related to homelessness. I have been especially impacted by God’s provision for the New Life Program after the flooding of the apartments in the Tower. There has been a great amount of resiliency displayed by both participants and staff.

I served for 6 years in a Christian addictions recovery program in Argentina. It was one of the greatest joys of my life to work with the men there and their families. I deeply grieved leaving that ministry. Stepping into the Mission’s New Life Program immediately felt like home. I have seen the passion that I had for ministry in Argentina reignited!”

Kyle Gjersee

Meal Service Volunteer and Mentor

Kyle’s favorite bible verse is Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Fulfilling is the word Kyle uses to describe volunteering at the Mission.

Why Kyle volunteers at the Mission: “The giving of myself is the least I can do. It does not take lot of your time, but it has a huge impact on others and it is fun!”

Justin Hudnall

Meal Service Volunteer

Justin’s favorite bible verse is Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Fulfilling is the word Justin uses to describe volunteering at the Mission.

Why Justin volunteers at the Mission: “I volunteer at the Mission to give back and serve others. The kitchen chefs and staff members always prepare enough food and are so nice to work with. The chefs are amazing people and love sharing knowledge with you. Other people you volunteer with are awesome and you become friends with those you regularly see. The people and the process are great!”

Feeling Inspired to Volunteer Too?

We are so thankful for all our volunteers who show up each day to help those in need.

Written by: Nicole Tschetter, Public Relations Manager