At Denver Rescue Mission, we strive to spread love and kindness every day to our guests, participants and staff members. This Valentine’s Day, we are reflecting on acts of love and kindness that have put smiles on faces around the Mission.
An Encouraging Leader
“More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, and greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, and be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings and conferences, that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around on urgent cause and not to feel that you are working directly for special progress. But, I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them but you truly love them.”Henri Nouwen
DRM’s President/CEO Brad Meuli has been reading this piece by Henri Nouwen for the past 20 years to every new employee and intern who comes to the Mission.
“The reason I read it is that I believe this really is what we do at Denver Rescue Mission,” Brad said. “We are trying to love on people. We are trying to build relationships with people so that we can help them out of the poverty they are in and be able to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them. It is all about building relationships.”
Not only is it important to love those we serve, but it is important for us to love one another in the work that we do. Spreading love and encouragement to fellow staff members reminds us that we are all in this together.
Brad continues to support staff in several ways, one being that he sends a birthday card to every employee. “I see myself as really being an encourager,” Brad said. “I cannot do everyone’s jobs, but what I can do is try to encourage everyone. Even though it is a small thing, for me, it is a privilege.”
Loving Staff Members
A few ways our staff members have uplifted one another have been through volunteering alongside the Mission’s frontline staff, delivering surprise treats for them, and making them signs of encouragement during COVID-19.
Staff members also wrote 250 cards to thank our frontline staff for their hard work in maintaining our shelter services and implementing safe protocols during the pandemic. Community businesses also worked alongside us to bring meals to frontline staff on multiple occasions.
Another act of kindness has come from Rocky Mountain Presbyterian Church. The church community has been donating “graduation buckets” to give to the men in our New Life Program when they graduate. The buckets are filled with cleaning items such as window cleaner, paper towels and dish soap so our graduates have an easier transition when they move into their own housing. Rocky Mountain Presbyterian Church has been supporting the Mission for two years through monthly prayer, serving meals and donating blankets.
“It is part of sharing the love of Christ to serve the poor and oppressed,” said Helen Collins of Rocky Mountain Presbyterian Church. “That’s part of our mission strategy—to model Jesus’ words and behavior. I am really grateful for the staff I’ve met through DRM and all of the different things that you are doing. I just really appreciate that partnership and allowing us to help.”
The community has also been generous in donating to the Mission’s Ministry Outreach Center. One such act of kindness came from a wonderful donor who donated $2,000 to spend at Kohl’s for new clothes for our New Life Program (NLP) participants. Participants are able to choose one outfit each month, and because of this generous donation, the men can choose from the new jeans, vests, belts, T-shirts, and pajamas that were purchased at Kohl’s. These acts of kindness from our donors always put smiles on our faces and are much appreciated!
For Valentine’s Day this year, youth in the Denver Broncos Youth Center showed love and gratitude to their parents through homemade Valentine’s Day cards. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to remind those we care about that we love them and are thankful for them.
Although kids don’t always remember to tell their parents these things, they had smiles on their faces as they made creative cards for their parents using glitter, colored paper and markers.
It is through many generous hearts and giving spirits that we are able to serve and support the most vulnerable members of our community. By supporting one another at the Mission—whether you are a donor, staff member, volunteer, guest, or program participant—we are able to impact lives in the name of Christ and spread love and kindness, just like God has called us to do.
“The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”Mark 12:31
Written by: Linneya Gardner, Content and Photography Intern