By Libby Smith

DENVER (CBS4) – This is the 10th anniversary of Day of Service, and Xcel Energy has had to reimagine its volunteer efforts to accommodate coronavirus. There are some in-person volunteer projects, but they are small and for Xcel employees only. There are also some take-home projects, so that employees can work in the safety of their own homes. For Xcel customers, clients, and the general public there is the Day of Service bingo card.

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“The bingo card is really cool. It brings the spirit of what I think a lot of us have experienced over the last six month in being closer to home, being in our neighborhood, and the bingo card offers that so it’s very easy,” said Hollie Velasquez Horvath, Senior Director of State Affairs and Community Relations with Xcel Energy.

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LINK: Download the Day of Service Bingo Card

Anyone can download the bingo card and there are 24 squares with acts of kindness that you can do from your home and within your neighborhood. Some of the suggestions include: picking up trash on a trail, raking leaves for a neighbor, and giving blood. Take pictures while you work on your card, and share them on social media. You can tag XcelEnergyCO and use #XEDOS.

“You have a chance to potentially get a $500 donation in your name to a local non-profit organization here in Colorado,” Velasquez Horvath added.

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For the last 9 years, Xcel Energy has hosted dozens of volunteer projects on one Saturday morning in which thousands of volunteers work for several hours. It has a huge impact on the non-profit organizations that partner with the utility. Despite coronavirus there are still non-profit organizations that could benefit from some in-person volunteering, so Xcel set up a few smaller projects that are open to employees only.

“We’re doing it with a small number of employees. We’re making sure that they are safe and being protected, but still offering that service and the impact to organizations that still need those in-person volunteer activities to keep them moving,” Velasquez Horvath explained.

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Many of the regular projects are people coming together to make items that are helpful for some non-profits. During coronavirus, when we’re all supposed to be staying home as much as we can, Xcel Energy thought that those projects could be done at employees’ homes. So again they developed take home kits that are only for employees, but still providing a community impact.

“We’re on schedule to donate 11,000 different projects to non-profit organizations across Colorado,” Velasquez Horvath said.

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In honor of the 10th anniversary, and with respect to the current times, Xcel Energy expanded Day of Service to 10-days, September 9th – 19th. That gives people more time to work on  those bingo cards.

Libby Smith