We have had a full two days since the youth group left Onida Thursday morning! We left around 7:30 and had an uneventful trip to Denver, navigating the Denver traffic and arriving at First Mennonite Church of Denver mid-afternoon. After being surprised by a small flood in the basement where we were planning to stay, and some quick re-arranging, we were able to move in and, after a short orientation, we headed off to watch the Rockies play the Dodgers. A good time seemed to be had by all, even though the Rockies lost.
Friday morning started early with breakfast, then we all headed out to different locations. Groups 1 and 2 spent the day serving together at Bessie's Hope and Casa de Paz. Bessie's Hope is an organization that began 25 years ago as an organization that works to bring together younger generations with those in Assisted Living facilities that sometimes go a long time without a connection to another person. We spent the morning visiting with new friends, singing, and dancing together. After lunch, we headed to Casa de Paz, where we spent the afternoon cleaning, as well as unpacking and organizing donations. Check out their organization at www.casadepazcolorado.org
Group 3 spent the day at Earthlink, an urban garden that provides those who don't have easy access to fresh produce the opportunity to volunteer in the garden and get paid with fresh produce. The remainder of the produce is sold to Food Banks for money to keep the organization going. The group spent the day weeding the garden, and working on the compost pile.
Group 4 spent the day at Ronald McDonald House where families can stay while their children are getting medical care. They had a busy day restocking linens, vaccuming, cleaning windows, organizing toys, and bringing wagons full of birdhouses up from the basement to be given out to others.
This evening, we had an exercise in food justice, learning what it means to have to feed your family dinner for only $1.50 per person. We all walked almost a mile to the grocery store where the youth were in charge of decidinig how they would put together a meal for that cost, the food was purchased and then we walked back to the church to eat. We all learned a lot about how difficult it could be to provide one meal, let along three meals a day on such a tight budget.
Tomorrow promises more adventures and we look forward to sharing them with you soon!