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4-25-16 Lowe’s and Rebuilding Together make Denver community center “look beautiful”
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by Rajmund Dabrowski

 

 
Lowe's and Rebuilding Together involved 120 volunteers to refurbish ACS LIFT center in Denver. Photo by Rajmund Dabrowski
 
 

“Making people safe and secure in their neighborhoods is what we aim to do,” said Alyssa, one of the captains with Rebuilding Together, a non-profit organization, which teamed up with Lowe’s Home Improvement to refurbish the Adventist Community Services LIFT facility in Denver, April 14.

Together with Pete, also a captain, they used a less busy time while lunch was served for more than 40 volunteers, to put down new flooring in one of the center’s rooms.

Alyssa has been engaged with the Rebuilding Together for four years and, like many of her colleagues, has been refurbishing homes and facilities and serving communities throughout the country.

The Denver two-day project, April 13-15, involved 120 volunteers, and included four homes of low-income homeowners as well as the ACS community center. Lowe’s donated $84,000 to the Denver rebuild project and much of the funding went to refurbish the ACS facility, giving them new showers, new flooring, remodeled classrooms, recognizing the critical services provided by ACS to the surrounding community, such as the food bank, medical care and developmental assistance.

“It’s all about the community. We’ve learned that you can’t just do one house here, one house there, but it’s all a concentrated effort, and it’s about partnerships, which is the fabric of community. This project is a demonstration of this,” said Graham McDonald, manager of corporate engagement at the national office of Rebuilding Together in Wash., D.C.

Commenting for the RMC NewsNuggets, McDonald said that the Denver project meant more than 1,000 hours of service. “We were able to overcome some of the difficulties with the flooring and carpeting with the strength of our volunteers,” he said, paying tribute to those involved with repairing the neighborhood.

Among the volunteers was Paul D. Lopez, councilman for the Barnum Neighborhood. Deborah Jackson, ACS LIFT Director, recognized the services given to her center as more than crucial, but also as a joint-community affair. Lopez’s personal involvement is seen as an example of “being with the community.”

Opened in 1951, ACS has been in continuous operation, serving up to 350 people per week, according to Navanta Antoine-Griffith, administrative assistant and bookkeeper at the Denver center. The center’s staff believes that the newly re-done project will bring more clients.

A renovation of the ACS center “will make our clients feel that they are very much valued,” said Jackson. “This place didn’t always look very nice. But now our clients will see this facility as beautiful, and they will see that they are valued. We will start our workforce development here, install computers and hold classes about healthy living, offer classes on exercise, nutrition, and also we hope to become a part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) through which we can actually qualify people for food stamps.”
 

 
  Lowe's and Rebuilding Together involved 120 volunteers to refurbish ACS LIFT center in Denver. Photo by Rajmund Dabrowski
 

Jackson wants to have the center also be seen as environmentally friendly. “Our garden is organic and our food is natural. We are trying to meet people at their needs.” The Lowe’s involvement with the project included creating edible landscaping in the front area of the center.

People who are homeless are also frequent visitors to the ACS center. “Now, we will be able to increase the help we give in finding jobs, writing resumes, helping to find housing, things we were not able to do before,” Jackson commented. But “we will need donations and will need to increase our promotion of the healthy lifestyle in the Denver metro community.”

Jackson hopes that the church will “see how valuable this service is. The church responded and then we were in turmoil for a while. We hope the church will see what value we offer. We are hoping that the church will not only help in volunteering, but also in the financial aspect of our work,” she appealed.

To assist ACS LIFT continue providing much needed services, “we need support of church organizations, and individual church members, through gifts, donations, volunteering and prayer,” Jackson added.  Learn more.
 

 

 

North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
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