Volunteers with four Broomfield churches partnered to complete a wide range of service projects on Saturday with immediate local and eventual international impacts.
Broomfield United Methodist Church teamed with Presbyterian Church of Broomfield, United Church of Broomfield and Holy Comforter Episcopal Church for a unified “Serve Weekend.” The gathering attracted a wealth of parishioners who branched out to spruce up yards and collect debris at the 300-acre Broomfield County Commons Park.
Among the helping hands at Broomfield Commons was Melissa Beer, accompanied by her two sons, ages 11 and 16.
“We kind of divided up the park and everybody took a section,” she said.
The Beer clan were among several family groups who filled a mound of trash bags with waste items collected at the park.
“It’s been really fun,” she said. “It’s an easy way to get into the community and help out.”
Involving children was an added bonus for Beer, whose boys were all smiles while exhibiting the massive haul collected.
“It sets a good example,” she said.
Over at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, another bevy of helping hands jumped on board to assist Broomfield FISH assemble food packages.
In addition to beautifying the community and helping source nourishment for residents, an entire crew of all-age volunteers at United Church of Broomfield composed return letters to youths in Kenya.
“We had a team in Kenya that brought letters back from all the kids at Spring Valley Children’s Center,” said Nancy Week, director of child sponsorship with nonprofit Global Hope.
Located on the northern edge of Nairobi, the Hope for Orphans Rescue Center and Spring Valley Academy provide a safe haven for children living in slum conditions, Week said.
“There’s a lot of prostitution, drugs and violence,” she explained.
Parents housing their families in metal shacks without locking doors are incapable of protecting their kids from predatory elements when away from home, Week added.
“All the girls, when they turn about 11 or 12, it’s not safe for them,” she said.
By contrast, Spring Hope houses students in campus dormitories to safely pursue academics “so they can see there’s a future,” Week said.
“They built dormitories for boys who were being recruited into terrorist groups,” she added.
Although roughly five-dozen Kenyan youths have international sponsors to correspond with, Week said an even larger group pen letters that sometimes fail to find a recipient.
“I always feel bad that I get all these letters and I don’t have anybody to rewrite back to them,” she said.
Among the respondents on Saturday was Isaac Champ-Correll, whose mother, Shaye Champ-Correll is associate pastor at United Church of Broomfield.
“I’m 13 and there are other things I would like to be doing with my Saturday, but I’m here because what’s going on in Kenya sickens me,” he said. “People are being hurt and taken.”