St. Andrew volunteers handed out goods to the homeless in Civic Center Park last year.
By Riley Busch, RCHS intern writer; photo courtesy of Jennifer Kloeppel
With the holidays in full swing, many organizations and communities are uniting to help those in need this holiday season. At St. Andrew United Methodist Church, several communities are coming together to do good for the less fortunate all across Denver in as many ways as possible.
While the church is involved with several organizations year-round, many people partake in the enjoyment of a wide variety of volunteer and donation opportunities that appear around the holidays. Items such as hats, coats and sleeping bags will be collected and hand-delivered to homeless citizens in Civic Center Park on Christmas Day. Annually, St. Andrew partners with Family Promise to provide the homeless with shelter and provisions in the church for the holidays. “I would think our most effective holiday service is both the donation of items and how the church hosts homeless families that live in our basement during the holidays with volunteer help. Both are great ways to help people,” explained Castle Pines resident and five-year member Steve Baska.
St. Andrew continues to pride itself on its wonderfully passionate relationship with children, both in and out of the community. In addition to providing low income school children with winter gear, many church members pack stockings full of toys, warm socks and educational equipment to gift to younger children in other areas. Integrated Family Community Services has helped St. Andrew “adopt” more than 80 children in Douglas County, each of whom will be provided with clothes and other various necessities.
In conjunction with the act of helping others, the various partnerships and item drives help to unite a large sum of people within the community. Reverend Stacy Collins, pastor of congressional care at St. Andrew stated, “On Christmas Eve, we have six worship services. Lots of people come who don’t usually attend church on other Sundays. I am grateful that people want to experience a beautiful service that focuses on ‘WHY’ we celebrate Christmas. I hope that some of these families decide to join our community – which is loving, inclusive and welcoming.” Most events continue through the month of December, and some remain active year-round.
The St. Andrew community is always searching for more citizens eager to help those in need. If you have any interest in volunteering or donating items, visit www.gostandrew.com or contact Jennifer Kloeppel, resident outreach and community life director at JKloeppel@gostandrew.com. Venture to contribute to the community cheer and holiday spirit!