Reaching out to aid the homeless
Castle Pines resident Dick Leenvaart has spent more than a decade serving those in need at the Christ’s Body Ministries.
By Julie Montoya; photos courtesy of Christ’s Body Ministries
When your heart is filled with purpose, anything is possible. That’s how life feels for Castle Pines resident Dick Leenvaart, who has spent the past eleven years serving those in need through Denver’s Christ’s Body Ministries.
Christ’s Body Ministries operates a 10,000 square-foot day shelter in Denver’s inner city. Each day the center feeds and clothes more than 150 of the city’s homeless or underprivileged. The center doesn’t stop there; in addition, they provide respite care for the sick, groceries for patrons to take, counseling and legal services, showers and changing rooms, and the word of the Gospel through prayer groups and bible studies.
In 2002, Leenvaart started volunteering with Christ’s Body by delivering groceries, working in the center’s kitchen, and helping those in need with legal and medical issues. He also worked as a general handyman for the center one day a week. Those early days of volunteering enriched Leenvaart’s life. “God offers what He has to everyone, and He wants us to work with people who are hurting and in need,” said Leenvaart. “Many hands make light work.” Today Leenvaart sits on the board of directors as its treasurer and head of financial operations.
Along with Leenvaart, the center staffs ten employees; from members of the board, case managers and worship leaders, to resident staff members and volunteers passionate to serve others. Leenvaart’s own words capture the privilege he and everyone else feels about the work they do: “These are people just like you and me with deep longing for someone to care about them. I love being with them.” When asked what Castle Pines residents can do to be involved, Leenvaart’s response was poignant: “Pray for us to be successful and to keep a servant’s heart when we help people.”
Christ’s Body is seeking a group or organization willing to donate goods for a Thanksgiving meal for the center’s patrons. Physical donations are also always welcome for clothing and hygiene items, and can be sent via mail to Christ’s Body Ministries, PO Box 18834, Denver 80218 or can be dropped off in person at the center, located at 850 Lincoln Street, Denver 80203.
For those seeking a more hands-on approach, call the center’s administrative office at 303-860-1272.