Want to get more involved in your town? Project Our Town is back, hosting a Weekend of Action November 8 through 10, when teams of volunteers will be out and about in metro Denver, working on more than 100 social-action activities that benefit over fifty local causes ranging from the Denver Children's Home to Meals on Wheels.
The event got its start in 2017, “when my good friends and co-executive directors Cindy Abramson and Amy Becker founded what started as a community service weekend event for another nonprofit organization,” recalls Abby Goldsmith. That was JTown, an organization that creates connections and community through events, services, programming and a social-action component. As the founders worked on that project, they wondered whether they should expand the concept, empowering more people to have an impact, to get connected. In other words, Goldsmith says, “Why limit this to just Jews?”
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So they started calling nonprofits and other groups around town that might need help, offering to bring in volunteers for already-existing projects or to “re-create the wheel” if the organization had a particular need. And by the time the inaugural Project Our Town weekend rolled around in 2018, more than 850 volunteers had signed on, most of them finding out about the event simply through word of mouth. “They got more out of it sometimes than the recipient, and the recipient always got something out of it,” Goldsmith recalls. So did the founders: “This was just started by a group of moms,” she notes. “We’ve grown, we’ve got a board, we’re our own 501(c)(3). It became something that our community couldn’t get enough of: fun, easy and meaningful volunteering.”
The 2019 Project Our Town has a full roster of projects for which people can volunteer, all over town, in all areas. For some of the projects, you can even work at home; if you want to be around a lot of people, headquarters for the weekend, the Lone Tree Hub, at 8827 Lone Tree Parkway in Lone Tree, will have projects going for close to a dozen different organizations, including making holiday cards for Meals on Wheels.
“You’re going to get a lot out of it,” Goldsmith promises. “It’s a lot of fun.” To see which projects still have openings for volunteers, go to projectourtown.org.