DENVER (CBS4) – Xcel Energy is preparing to host its 8th annual Day of Service. It is an opportunity for thousands of Coloradans to volunteer at prearranged projects at various nonprofits.
“Last year, we had a little over 3,700 employees and volunteers that came out for that day, and we’re shooting to getting almost 4,000 this year,” said Hollie Velasquez Horvath, director of community relations with Xcel Energy.
This year, 77 nonprofit organizations across the state will participate welcoming anywhere from 22 to 250 volunteers. The projects range from landscaping work to making blankets.
“You get to pick the project. It’s already organized and put together, we bring the supplies, and everything for you, so you just show up that morning,” Velasquez Horvath said.
Xcel Energy works to make this a statewide effort, setting up projects in Grand Junction, Fort Collins, Pueblo, and across the Denver Metro Area.
“Day of Service is about impact and giving back to your community, but I think there’s something very special about being part of a project that day with folks from all over the state,” Velasquez Horvath told CBS4.
There are 13 new nonprofit organizations joining Day of Service for the first time, and there are 4 large-scale signature projects. At Century Middle School in Aurora, Kids Against Hunger will have 700 volunteers packing 150,000 meals that will go to food banks and pantries in the Colorado community. Denver Health will have 220 volunteers making no sew fleece blankets for its newborns in need program. The Veterans Service Center will have 220 volunteers putting together 5,000 hygiene kits for veterans experiencing homelessness.
“We’ve got a Denver Parks and Rec project. We do one every year with Parks and Rec. This one’s out in Montbello,” Velasquez Horvath explained.
Each of the nonprofits benefits because they get a huge influx of manpower to get some big project done.
“Most of the projects that they choose or things that they need help with are things that maybe they haven’t been able to do with their own resources, and through a small grant from Xcel Energy’s Foundation,” said Velasquez Horvath.
Volunteers can expect a small snack and a t-shirt when they arrive on site. They’ll have to sign-in and potentially sign a waiver, and then it’s off to do their project. Each of the projects has an Xcel employee who is the team lead and keeps everything organized.
“We have 80-percent of our projects that are family friendly. And I think it’s so important to have kids come out and actually feel the experience of giving back to their community.”
Xcel Energy’s Day of Service is Saturday, September 8th from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Volunteers need to sign up for their projects ahead of time. Some of the smaller projects fill up quick, so signing up early is recommended.