12 4 Y E A R S O F S E R V I C E
Grateful for: the change
I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, …I can’t thank you enough. Psalm 30:12 (MSG)
“The Mission is allowing me to
focus on quality time with my family during a hardship with this Thanksgiving Box.” - Katie, with her two-year-old son, Therin
Katie’s family almost didn’t have a Thanksgiving meal last year.
Financial hardships left her stressed and depressed, and celebrating the holidays was the last thing on her mind. But thanks to your faithful support, she and her son were able to have the dignity of a home-cooked, Thanksgiving feast and share important time as a family.
Thank you for giving hope to people in need this Thanksgiving.
Grateful for: the change
THANKSGIVING BANQUET-IN-A-BOX “It’s wonderful to have something to eat this Thanksgiving. It’s going to help me have family around for the holidays.” - Monique This year the Mission will give out 2,500 food boxes filled with a turkey, potatoes, stuffing, canned vegetables, and other holiday food items to hungry families in our city. Because of your support, thousands of families in need will have a fresh, home-cooked Thanksgiving meal to look forward to this year.
GREAT THANKSGIVING BANQUET “Thanksgiving reminds me of memories with family. I stay at the shelter every night. It’s a nice place to stay to get off the streets” - Ed On Wednesday, November 23, hundreds of hungry and hurting people will join us for a cheerful Thanksgiving meal at the Lawrence Street Community Center. Thanks to your help through donations and volunteering, we’ll serve a Thanksgiving feast complete with turkey, dessert and the warm embrace of a loving community. Guests will also leave with gifts of hats, gloves and scarves. On the envelope: A homeless guest waits eagerly for the Great Thanksgiving Banquet to begin.
Reggie’ s Story
Couch surfing may be exciting when you’re in college, but at nearly 60 years old, Reggie was tired of the instability. His brother and sister, on the other hand, were both tired of enabling his alcoholism.
He admits he was ashamed of what his life had become. As a child, he was raised in a military family. His father served in the Army for 32 years and even overcame his own struggle with alcoholism. But Reggie’s mother died when he was just 13 years old, leaving him to grow up hard and fast.
Two weeks after he graduated high school, he joined the Army and spent the next 10 years in telecommunications and aviation, until he was honorably discharged. For the next 25-30 years, he sank deeper and deeper into his addictions, even using cocaine for a short time. He tried 30-day recovery programs and support groups, but nothing worked.
“It’s easy to get caught up in that vicious cycle,” he explains, “and it’s hard to stop when you don’t know how or what resources to turn to.” Finally, he lost his job and lived with his brother and sister for a short time. But Reggie knew he needed to change. Penniless, he looked for a free long-term program, eventually finding Denver Rescue Mission.
In the Mission’s New Life Program, he became sober, built important life skills and relationships and ultimately was able to be honest with himself. “I feel like I’ve found myself here,” he says. “I have a deeper relationship with God, my counselor and chaplain have helped me come to know the person I really am, I accept my faults, and I’m not as hard on myself as I used to be.”
According to Reggie, his lifelong dream was to become a cook, and his father always wanted him to get a good education. But he never pursued either.
Today, thanks to the New Life Program, he’s making that dream a reality with culinary classes at Emily Griffith Technical College. “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been,” he says. “It’s never too late in life to do what you want to do. This is so important to me because it’s what my dad strived to provide for me. And it’s changing my life now. I hope he’s up in heaven smiling, and I hope he’s proud of me.” Next on his plate is completing his certificate in culinary arts along with a 180-hour internship. “After I graduate from school in March, I’ll be able to get a full-time job and save some money before I finish the New Life Program,” he says cheerfully.
Just like leaves changing in the fall, Reggie says the changes in his life signify the start of a whole new season. “I’m changing so much,” he says. “My perspective is new … I have goals now. Everything is changing, and I’m so grateful for it.”
And ultimately, it’s all thanks to you. We rely on the support of donors like you and thousands of others to change lives like Reggie’s. So this Thanksgiving, we are grateful for you and the many others you join in supporting transformational programs and lifesaving services for people suffering in homelessness and addiction. Thank you for helping us change lives in the name of Christ during this holiday season! Look for Reggie’s story on our Facebook page: Facebook.com/DenverRescue.
Help with the Thanksgiving Turkey Drive!
Your donations make important Thanksgiving events at the Mission possible for hundreds of people experiencing homelessness and poverty. This year, our goal is to collect 15,000 turkeys, and we need your help! Thank you for helping us reach our goal this year by donating:
• Frozen Turkeys (12 lbs. or more) • Boxed Mashed Potatoes • Stuffing • Canned Fruit • Canned Vegetables • Canned Yams Please bring your donations to one of these locations:
Lawrence Street Shelter 1130 Park Avenue West
Ministry Outreach Center 5725 East 39th Avenue
The Crossing 6090 Smith Road
For more information visit DenverRescueMission.org/Donate-Items or call 303.297.1815.
WE NEED YOUR HELP! Donate this Thanksgiving to give people experiencing homelessness hope for the holidays!
Letter from the CEO
It is really difficult not to be very grateful in this job! There is so much to be thankful for. Really, coming to work every day at Denver Rescue Mission is a blessing. Sometimes, when people find out where I work, they thank me! They say things like, “Thanks for all you do! We appreciate you!” But it’s funny to me, because I feel like I am the one who is blessed by being able to come to work here each day. I should be doing the thanking!
To be able to feed people, provide them a warm bed, help them with clothing, and offer help with that first step in getting off the street to nearly a thousand people a day at the Lawrence Street Community Center—these are blessings. And to see not just one, but hundreds of lives changed forever through our New Life Program and STAR Transitional Program—this is also a blessing.
Finally, it is men like Reggie, featured in this month’s newsletter, who really bring a tear to my eye—they are so grateful for Denver Rescue Mission, its staff, volunteers, and donors. I love watching the change in people’s hearts as we share the Good News of Jesus with them. Their lives are touched, and that makes me want to come to work every day! I think this is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday— I have so much to be grateful for, so many blessings that God has provided just a regular guy like me. As you sit down for your turkey feast this Thanksgiving, I pray you will remember how much we appreciate you, and the fact that it is people like you who make changing lives in the name of Christ possible here at Denver Rescue Mission!
Happy Thanksgiving from a guy who has much to be thankful for! God Bless,
Brad Meuli President/CEO
Join Us for Colorado Gives Day on December 6! If there’s one thing Colorado knows, it’s that local is always better. We love to shop local and play local, so why not give local too? Colorado Gives Day is all about making a difference in your community, so join your neighbors and #GiveWhereYouLive! And the best part is, thanks to the Community First Foundation and FirstBank, there’s a $1,000,000 incentive fund to help non-profits get even more value from the donations you make.
Why do you #GiveWhereYouLive? “My family and I appreciate everything the Mission does to help those in need.” - Shirley “I’ve been downtown by the Mission. It’s sad to see people out on the street with nowhere to go.” - Gary “No one should be without a meal during the holidays.” - William
Show Your Support On December 6!
Learn more at DenverRescueMission.org/ColoradoGivesDay, and join us on December 6 to make the most of your gifts thanks to the $1 Million incentive fund!
“Do All You Can” Canned Food Drives
Great Thanksgiving Banquet
Statistics How You Help
Team up with the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets and Denver Rescue Mission in the “Do All You Can” canned food drives in partnership with Ball Corporation!
How You Can Help Please bring non-perishable, canned food items to the games listed below to help feed homeless and hungry men, women and children this winter!
• Tuesday, November 22 Nuggets game at the Pepsi Center
• Wednesday, November 23 Avalanche game at the Pepsi Center
For more information, please call Lisette at 303.313.2414 or Lisette@DenRescue.org. Thank you for doing all you can!
When: Wednesday, November 23 at 10:00 a.m.
Where: Lawrence Street Community Center 2222 Park Avenue West Denver, CO 80205
Clinic services provided
Denver Rescue Mission Outreaches
Harvest Farm Rural rehabilitation program for men near Fort Collins
When: Wednesday, November 23 at 7 p.m. Where: The Fillmore Auditorium Bring canned food items to the concert and receive a commemorative poster! For more information, visit LastWaltzRevisited.com or contact Stacy at SParker@DenRescue.org.
Champa House Residential facility offering long-term help toward self-sufficiency to single mothers with dependent children
Clothing distributed (lbs.)
Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic concert film at The Last Waltz Revisited.
Lawrence Street Shelter Overnight shelter for men, chapel and health clinic
Nights of shelter provided
The Last Waltz Turns 40!
Lawrence Street Community Center Meals, restrooms, showers, washing machines and dryers, clean drinking water, referral services, and access to Mission staff for encouragement and guidance
YTD (fiscal year)
Fort Collins Rescue Mission Meals, shelter and transitional programs for men and women
The Crossing Transitional program for families and rehabilitation program for men
Changing Lives is the monthly news publication of Denver Rescue Mission. Director of Communications: Christine Gallamore Designer: Rachel Titus Writer: Robert Bogan Cover Image: Diana Barnett
Ministry Outreach Center Central warehouse facility including food, clothing and furniture distribution Administration & Education Entry point for Mission programs and home to the Mission’s administrative and development staff Family Services Transitional program, assistance for permanent housing, and mentoring
P.O. Box 5164 • Denver, CO 80217 • 303.297.1815