By Kelly Werthmann
DENVER (CBS4) – Hundreds of people across Colorado came together Saturday morning to volunteer.
As part of the 8th-annual Xcel Energy Day of Service, about 3,800 volunteers took part in close to 70 projects to give back to their communities.
In Thornton, 700 people of all ages helped pack meals for the grassroots organization Colorado Feeding Kids. Among the volunteers was State Rep. Joe Salazar, CBS4 anchor Jim Benemann, and CBS4’s Weather Team. In just a couple of hours, the assembly lines inside Century Middle School packed 150,000 meals for hungry children and senior citizens.
“They’ll be delivered in food banks as we speak,” Kenward Bradley, President of Colorado Feeding Kids, said. “One in seven kids is hungry in Colorado, so this will be huge. And all the meals are staying local in Colorado.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Day Of Service
Levi Dombrower, a 7-year-old volunteer, said he really enjoyed packing the meals with other kids.
“I feel amazing,” Dombrower told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “I love helping other people.”
Watching families volunteer with their children is what Xcel Energy employee Katie Hellfritz said she likes most about Day of Service.
“It gives young kids an opportunity to get into volunteering and being part of their community,” she said.
Upwards of 250 volunteers turned out to clean up parks in Denver, including CBS4’s Tom Mustin, Mark Haas and Michael Spencer.
“It’s important because Denver is such a great place to get out and be active and we have such wonderful people in our community,” Spencer said. “When we have a chance to give back, it not only does good for our community, it’s good for us too.”
Xcel Energy started Day of Service eight years ago as a way to honor the victims of 9/11, which is why the event always takes place around Sept. 11.
LINK: Day Of Service
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.