Volunteers of the Month - 2014
Each year we are fortunate to have undergraduate volunteer student interns. They are a dedicated group of individuals and we are very grateful for all they do. And every once in a while we get a student intern who goes beyond the requirements and expectations of their particular internship program; this past year we have been fortunate to have one of those extraordinary volunteers, Somer Stapleton. Somer is a CU junior studying International Affairs and is in the INVST Community Leadership Program. Somer has volunteered for Street Outreach, Day Drop-in, and has served as the Kaleidoscope event intern. Somer has always gone the extra mile, has done more than her required hours, always asks what else she can do and does it all with a big smile. Laura Teta, Development Associate says, “Somer is a self starter which is a huge plus for a busy supervisor and was always delightful to work with.” For the all those “extra miles” we acknowledge Somer Stapleton as the May Volunteer of the Month.
Eric Fowles first learned about Attention Homes from a website called JustServe.org. JustServe is a service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to connect people to service and volunteer opportunities in their local community. Eric was impressed with what Attention Homes was doing for homeless youth so he and his wife signed up to make and deliver meals for the shelter. Since then, he has taken on numerous volunteer opportunities. He brought four of his children to help paint the fence when the shelter was under construction and helped match a group of LDS Elders and Sisters to volunteer with many other projects. Eric was also one of our "sleepers" at Sleep Out, raising awareness to others in Boulder County about the plight of homeless youth. Of volunteering at Attention Homes, Eric says, "Even the smallest commitment goes a long way because it helps the people you serve, but even more so, blesses the person serving." We are grateful for all the ways that Eric has served as a volunteer and brought others into our Attention Homes community.
Each month at Attention Homes, we serve over 2000 meals, to hungry youth. We are fortunate to have people who take time out of their busy schedules to cook or deliver meals. Becky Martinek is one of our cooking angels! She is a long time Boulder County resident who has been married for over 30 years, raised a family and is a landscape architect by trade. In 2008, Becky responded to a call for meal donors at Attention Homes and six years later she is still contributing. Each month she makes an evening meal for the youth we serve at the Residential Home and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter. When asked about her experience, Becky describes it as, "The needs of the at-risk teenage population in our country are vast, and as an individual wanting to help, it seems overwhelming. Attention Homes is a successful team effort by many people and I am thankful to have a small part. I try to deliver a home-cooked meal each month that centers around the food eaten in a typical American family home." If the way to a person's heart is through their stomach, then Becky has changed hundreds of kids' hearts! Thank you, Becky, all for the wonderful meals you have provided over the years.
Volunteers of the Month - 2013
Helen has volunteered with Attention Homes for over 9 years. She has been co-chair of the events committee and a big contributor in many of our fundraisers including this year's Kaleidoscope.
"It was and is the concept of helping children who struggle with their lives that attracted me to the organization," said Helen. "I had always worked in high tech, where it was mostly about earning money and personal success. It was time to feed my more emotional needs. The administrative folks who work with Attention Homes are probably underpaid and overworked and yet they show such love and passion for it! What a wonderful concept. Work from your heart, not from your pocketbook. These are the people who make a difference and I wanted to be a part of that kind of team."
Helen has played an integral part in our fundraising efforts, from heading up event decorations to tirelessly canvassing the community for silent auction items. Thank you Helen for your time and energy. Our event this year would not have been the great success that it was without your commitment to our program.
Heather began volunteering for Attention Homes at our Inaugural Sleep Out event last year and at the Grand Re-Opening of our Runaway and Homeless Youth shelter last April. She was looking for more ways to get involved and heard about our need to hire an event intern. As the event intern for the past six months, Heather has been an essential part of the planning process for our Kaleidoscope event. From making phone calls to potential auction donors to putting together silent auction packages, Heather has been an invaluable resource for Attention Homes. Thanks so much Heather for being such a vital part of our team!
"I have been working on the 6th Annual Kaleidoscope Mardi Gras Ball fundraiser for the past six months and it has been an amazing experience. I have been able to reach out into the community to inform others about Attention Homes and gain their support." - Heather
Darryl Dargitz was inspired to volunteer at Attention Homes after reading Clay Evans’ article in the Daily Camera about Attention Homes’ Sleep Out event last November. After watching the Sleep Out video on Attention Homes’ website, Darryl said, “I realized that collectively we need to serve/ help each other more and personally put it into action.” Program staff and kids alike have appreciated Darryl’s warmth, bright smile, humor, positive attitude, and willingness to help in any way he can. Darryl volunteers at the Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter drop-in, on street outreach, and at Attention Homes’ booth at the Boulder Farmer’s Market.
Thank you, Darryl, for demonstrating to all of us that one person inspired to act can make a difference in so many lives! Thank you for your commitment to our youth and program!
Keller Williams Boulder LLC
A huge thank you goes out to Keller Williams Boulder LLC realty group for choosing Attention Homes as their local non-profit to volunteer with for their organization’s RED Day. This annual day of service, which stands for Renew, Energize and Donate, is dedicated to celebrating Keller Williams’ commitment to improving local communities. Each year, on the second Thursday in May, Keller Williams associates from across the country devote their time to renewing and energizing aspects of the neighborhoods in which they serve. This past May, twenty-two enthusiastic associates came to our residential facility and homeless shelter to clean, cook, repair, beautify, and complete projects still left to be done from the shelter’s recent expansion. They also brought home donations collected from our wish list and a delicious lunch which they shared with many of our clients. We celebrate and thank Keller Williams for demonstrating the difference a company can make in the lives of youth in crisis here in Boulder County.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Elders
The Grand Re-Opening of our Runaway and Homeless Shelter on April 25 was a huge success and could have not been possible without the help of six wonderful young men who came through in the 11th hour. Elders Baker, Gable, Dionicio, Clawson, Seawell, and Cooper are missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They did everything that was asked of them and more!! With an exhausted staff, the Elders bolstered us with their laughter and joy. Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for the work the Elders did to help make the RHY shelter so beautiful and ready for the Grand Re-Opening. In the words of one RHY staff member, “The Elders Rock!” We celebrate the Elders as our Volunteers of the Month.
A volunteer group from Covidien - the Boulder division of an international medical products and procedures company - came and made a huge dent in our long punch list of finishing tasks in the completion of our Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter. Eighteen energetic and hardworking Covidien employees took time out of their busy schedules and accomplished more in four hours than it would have taken a group twice that size. Using hammers, drills and buzz saws they rebuilt the deck, installed shelves, put up blinds and completed many other tasks. They brought their business team-building skills to the shelter and made a big difference. Thank you to all the Covidien volunteers for making our shelter more functional and beautiful!
Noa Greenwald & Lily Siegert
Noa Greenwald from Boulder High and Lily Siegert of Fairview High joined forces as volunteers to host their second Annual Italian Dinner and Benefit Concert February 22nd to support our runaway and homeless youth. We honor them this month for their energy, enthusiasm and compassion for our mission. Together with friends and family, they raised over $3,000 and 200+ people enjoyed a special evening featuring an Italian feast donated by A Spice of Life Catering, a raffle, and musical entertainment by Cascade Kinzie and Brandon Calano.
“We are sad to say that we did not know of Attention Homes before this,” said Noa and Lily. “We both live very comfortable lives and have no idea of the struggles that some teens face. Now we do. The comments we heard that night were almost more valuable than the money we raised. People were excited about getting involved through volunteering and donating. We really do hope this has raised awareness among groups in the community that may not have heard of you otherwise.” Thank you Lily and Noa for honoring our youth!
Carrie Graeff has been a street outreach volunteer for our program since 2011. From the very beginning she was a natural; talking with kids on the street, gaining their trust and encouraging them to visit our RHY shelter. “Carrie has been a wonderful volunteer,” commented Whitney Grigsby, Street Outreach Coordinator. “She takes an interest in each individual youth, providing unconditional positive regard to everyone she encounters. In addition, she’s flexible with program adjustments and loves to take on new challenges whether it’s moving from day to night outreach or sharing her experience at volunteer trainings.” Thank you, Carrie, for all you’ve done to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth.
The Rawat Family & Friends
The holidays are a special time for family and friends to join together and serve others. We were fortunate to welcome so many who gave of themselves this past holiday season, whether it was preparing a holiday meal or our helping with our big celebratory buffet. We thank all of our donors who provided so generously. One notable group was Rishi and Rachna Rawat and their friends: Alesa and Parker Wittlief, and Scott Chance. For the second year in a row, they specially prepared an Indian vegetarian feast with homemade Chai tea and provided a wonderful meal and eating experience for our youth. They loved it! Such care was taken and joy provided all the way around. They are always welcome in our kitchen. We appreciate the wonders of flavor and taste that were created with their unique holiday offering. Thank you so much for your annual visit and your delicious meal!