As our CEO Susan Hébert, often reminds us, “it takes a village to raise a child” – something we know all too well. Thankfully, we have many compassionate, dedicated, and selfless villagers, without whom we would be lost in our efforts to “raise” our girls. In honor of Volunteer Week, we’d like to express our gratitude to some of these “villagers” – the ones who graciously volunteer their time, effort and energy to support our girls and our mission.
Actors Workshop – This weekly workshop is hosted by a teaching artist from the Denver Center of Performing Arts. Jessica visits Excelsior weekly to hold improvisation workshops to provide our girls with outlets for self-expression and help them enhance their self-esteem and improve teamwork.
THANK YOU Jessica Austgen
Canine-Assisted programs – Excelsior offers three different canine-assisted therapy programs to our girls. Canine Healers supports our girls who have experienced trauma by encouraging them to talk about their pasts and process their emotions in a supportive and comforting environment. Paws 4 Trust teaches our girls about responsibility and allows them to experience the power of compassion, unconditional love, and respect through the relationship of a human-animal bond. R.U.F.F. (Reading Utilizing Furry Friends) is an academic program that helps our girls improve their reading skills. These programs are incredibly powerful for our girls, so we are so grateful for the dedication of all our human and canine volunteers!
THANK YOU Gwynn Candy, Marcia Eckhardt, Cindy Elkind, Barb Gierscher, Annette Humphrey, Joan Katz, Dan McCarthy, Darlene McInnes, Trisha Miller, Maureen Robinson, Emily Spada
Cooking – Cooking classes are some of our girls’ favorite activities, especially Cheri’s class “Cultural Cooking on a Budget”. This class has become so popular that there is a long waiting list of girls hoping to participate!
THANK YOU Cheri Larson
Girl Sprouts Garden – Here at Excelsior we are proud of our thriving and robust Girl Sprouts Garden, from which we find the majority of the produce we serve our girls. Not only does this Garden provide sustenance for our bodies, but it also provides therapeutic benefits for our girls. We are indebted to our tireless Garden volunteers for their commitment to this project. Without them, our Girls Sprouts Garden would not be possible.
THANK YOU Jim Balazs, Jessie Boyer, Nick Carpenter, Valerie Dalfonzo, Roxanne Norris, Sue Parker, Steve Pontesso, Rose Seeman
Lighthouse Writers – This group is comprised of published authors that work one-on-one with our girls to encourage their creativity and teach them the fundamentals of good writing. Our girls work with these authors to create all types of written work, including poetry, stories and non-fiction pieces.
THANK YOU Francine Becker, Cara Lee Lopez, Whitney Templeton
Media Volunteer – Excelsior’s media volunteer, a previous staff member, has taken on the responsibility of photographing our graduation celebrations. Her beautiful photographs allow our graduates, and all of us, to treasure the memories of these special days.
THANK YOU EJ Pickreign
Piney Creek – The Piney Creek Women’s League “Reach” Group just loves to volunteer and we are so grateful they’ve chosen Excelsior as one of their many stops. This group has experience in all types of volunteer opportunities, includes stocking food banks, participating in community-based programs and assisted with youth group activities. Their experience and compassion shows every time they come to Excelsior to share fun activities with our girls such as baking, crafts and games.
THANK YOU Kendra Bernard, Cynthia England, Marcia Gordon, Linda Kane, Judith Kaplan, Barbara McCable, Karen Mitchell
School Tutors – Our school tutors are invaluable to the educational success of our girls. This extra, individualized attention is essential for many of our girls – some who come to Excelsior far behind in their educations and others who struggle with serious academic deficits.
THANK YOU Arnie Goldstein, Ruby Messenger
Spiritual – We always encourage our girls to embrace their spirituality. Our spiritual volunteers make this possible by acting as spiritual mentors and leading spiritual groups twice a month.
THANK YOU Paula Garrison, Cathee LeCount, Leslie Moore
S.W.A.T (Six Wanting A Transformation) – One of our newest volunteer groups, S.W.A.T. is comprised of six women who are passionate about helping others. Most of these women are educators who love working with kids, so the opportunity to volunteer at Excelsior called to them. Once a month, these women visit Excelsior, bringing a special meal and unique activities to share with our girls.
THANK YOU Lori Anderson, Rhea Coffman, Kim Duncan, Leah Novak, Sandy Novak, Lana Williams
Triumphant Faces Gala Committee – Our annual Triumphant Faces Gala is our largest fundraising event that helps provide our girls with the resources and programs they need to overcome their pasts and thrive. This event would not be possible without the tireless support of our dedicated Gala Committee.
THANK YOU Cindy Allen Halliday, Jamie Angelich, Denise Bellucci, Sarah Collins, Jeanie Curley, Michelle Davenport, Rosalina Diecidue, Pegie Frazier, Victoria Gartelos, Jacqueline Goldy, Rebecca Grindel Tully, Sandra Hagen Solin, Susie Helmer, Erin Hirstine, Ashi Kitchlew, Kristen Knutson, Angela Lieurance, Tina Lovelace Sporkin, Aquilla McKnight, Verna Orsatti, Dena Pastorini, Lois Paul, Ashley Prust, Glenda Rainold, Stephanie Riggs, Chelley Schaper, Kelly Spencer, Denisa Tova, Cynthia Treadwell, Natisha Walton
Zonta Group of Denver II – “Zonta” means “honest and trustworthy” in the Native-American Sioux language, which is certainly applicable to all our Zonta volunteers. Women from the Zonta Club of Denver II have been volunteering monthly in Sequoia Cottage since December 2011, bringing activities to share with our girls. Additionally, they generously donate Christmas gifts during the holiday season and help Excelsior raise money at the Triumphant Faces Gala!
THANK YOU Suzanne Allen, Barbara Anders, Suzanne Fasing, Carla Freeman, Jan Hoyt
Volunteer Opportunities at Excelsior
Interested in volunteering at Excelsior? Here are our open opportunities:
- Mentors – Strong adult role models are needed to work with clients on an individual basis to help rebuild their self-esteem and teach them important life skills.
- Adopt-a-Cottage –Get a group of your favorite people together and make time each month to visit one of our 10 cottages.
- Monthly Program Volunteers – We are looking for individuals in the community who want to share their hobby or talent with us! Prepare a fun activity and share it with us any day of the week. Activities the girls have enjoyed in the past are scrapbooking, card making, game night, cooking, baking, and craft night.
- Educational Programs – Help us teach our girls! Volunteers are needed to help provide educational programs for our girls; this can include art, music, poetry, dance, exercise and much more! Monthly and weekly spots available.
- Special Events – Project volunteers are needed throughout the year to help with the set-up and tear down of large events.
- Canine-Assisted Therapy Programs – If your dog is a registered therapy dog and you have one afternoon a week to give, then we need your help! If your dog is not yet certified we can help you get started!
- Garden Club Volunteers – If you have been known to have a green thumb or just have a little extra time on your hands, then we need your help! Garden volunteers will have the opportunity to work with our students in a group setting as well as help plan future garden ventures with our adult club members!
For additional Information, please contact Gwen King – firstname.lastname@example.org; 303-693-1550 ext.311