Grant Avenue Street Reach

I just got done volunteering at Grant Avenue Street Reach and here are some words I would use to describe the experience: busy, fun, collaborative, rewarding.

St. Paul's Church

Grant Avenue Street Reach serves people who are homeless in Denver every Monday, providing a hot meal and food to take out with them. I walked into the side of St. Paul's at 9 a.m. in front of a group of 15 high school students on a service trip this morning and was put right to work. I would say there were an average of 40 volunteers all packing sandwiches, cutting vegetables, sorting through fruit, washing dishes and cooking for hours on end. As the preparation dwindled, people shifted to cleaning the space and prepping for the meal.

It was crazy-busy in there the entire time, but each task allowed me to meet a new person, learn new things and build an even-greater appreciation for this mission. I bagged sandwiches and met an elderly group from a local Methodist church; next to me, a 16-year-old boy from Kansas City handed me bags; a high schooler from Denver taught me how to tell which cucumbers were acceptable to chop up; a boy (at least eight years younger than me) guided me in how they prepare spaghetti; a man who had been volunteering for eight years helped me prepare pizza and macaroni.

They said they serve anywhere between 300 and 500 people every Monday. Can you imagine? The organization is completely run by volunteers, which means that many retirees, school-age youth and teachers are able to help out and completely instrumental in the organization's success during the summer.

Grant Avenue Street Reach is an amazing organization that assists our friends and neighbors who are part of the homeless community. I wasn't even able to sit down to talk with the people we served (we were just that busy!), but many of the volunteers greeted them by name. It was truly a sense of community. If you're interested in volunteering, see their website.

- Intern Katie