Vrnda Dasi Noel
Vrnda has a heart for serving others. Before starting Ability Access in 2007, she was a school bus driver, worked in real estate and was a hospice volunteer. As a non-facility-based company, Ability Access comes alongside those who are differently-abled through community service and interaction.
What initially inspired Ability Access to get involved at the Mission?
We began volunteering every Thursday in 2007. At that time, I was an employee for Developmental Pathways (DP). Just a couple years later, DP closed our program, and I went out on my own to open my agency, Ability Access. Over the years since 2007, we’ve only missed Thursday holidays and a few times when I was out of the country to visit family.
What has kept your group supporting the Mission for so long?
My agency is client driven. Therefore, I take them to do the activities they choose. Several of the people I bring have been there since the beginning. Everyone who participates in the group thoroughly enjoys coming. They enjoy being of service and helping feed people by serving lunch on Thursdays at The Crossing.
How do Ability Access’s values align with Denver Rescue Mission’s values?
The core values of Ability Access are to help every person participate fully in their lives, learn how to advocate for themselves, participate in new and enriching experiences, enjoy integration in their community, gain/maintain job skills, make and nurture independent friendships, [participate in] selfless service, and so much more. No doubt our values cross over in many areas.
What is the volunteer experience like for your group every week?
They love it! They know what’s expected and jump right in to set up the dining room for lunch. They take so much pride in their service. Laura is the “salad queen,” LC greets everyone and scans their card, Sean serves on the hot bar, Hunter serves the sweets, Stephanie serves the drinks, and Chris runs dirty dishes back to the dishwasher with a smile as big as the sun. When Clay gets to come, he hands out napkins. Each of them enjoys talking/interfacing with the residents and staff. They have made long-time relationships there, many of whom they will see out in the community randomly and have conversations with.
This post is part of June’s Changing Lives Newsletter. This month, we’re sharing MaDonna and her children’s story in: A Family’s Path to Hope