By Libby Smith

DENVER (CBS4) – Xcel Energy is hosting its 11th annual Day of Service, over three days with a variety of ways to volunteer in communities across Colorado.

“Last year, as our 10th year, we extended it over 10 days, and really saw the value in offering volunteer opportunities both on a weekday and weekend to accommodate families and individuals varying schedules. So that’s why we’ve got the extended Day of Service to three days, which we are so excited about,” said Liz Gardner, Team Lead for Social Investment at Xcel Energy.

After having to limit in-person volunteer projects last year due to COVID-19, Xcel has expanded the in-person offerings this year. There are 40 projects in communities all over the state.

“We have taken all COVID precautions this year, offering a number of outdoor projects, and then also indoor projects where people wear masks and will be safe and socially distanced,” Gardner said.

Xcel Energy also partnered with a couple of nonprofit organizations to offer take-home projects, that volunteers could do in the safety of their own homes with friends and family. Those projects filled up quickly.

LINK: Sign Up For A Day of Service Project

Then for those who can’t make it to the in-person projects, but still want to make a significant impact on their communities, Xcel Energy came up with the Good Energy Pledge.

“The Good Energy Pledge is a really cool way. You go to the website, download the pledge, and it’s really your personal commitment to put your good energy into action. So it’s committing to a certain number of volunteer hours, it’s committing to picking up a certain number of pieces of trash along the side of the road, or volunteering with a nonprofit organization or helping a neighbor, or just doing good acts of kindness and service in our community,” Gardner explained.

Those who download the pledge will then be entered to win $500 that can be donated to a Day of Service nonprofit of their choice.

“There’s so many ways both big and small that we can all put our good energy into action and our communities need it now more than ever,” Gardner told CBSN Denver.

Day of Service was started 11 years ago as a way to celebrate and honor those impacted on and following Sept. 11. It’s become an annual tradition as a way for many to reconnect with community.

“For me, it’s always a really special day. I bring my four-year-old, and this year, I think I’ll probably bring our two-year-old son to volunteer alongside me and to instill, sort of, a moment of service and gratitude for our youngest community members,” Gardner said.

LINK: Download the Good Energy Pledge

Libby Smith