Day of Service is Xcel Energy’s annual volunteer signature event. This year is will be held on Saturday, September 9th. Click here to register for a project.

DENVER (CBS4) – Every year, Xcel Energy sets up dozens of volunteer opportunities on one day to serve the community. The utility invites its employees as well as the community to sign-up for a project and give back during a 3-hour window of time. The event is usually held on the first Saturday before 9/11.

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“The whole idea of Day of Service was to honor the 9/11 survivors, first responders, everyone else who helps make this country safe. And this is our way of sort of giving back to the community,” said Jerome Davis, Regional Vice President for Xcel Energy of Colorado.

This is the 7th year that Xcel Energy has hosted Day of Service. It started out as strictly an employee initiative, before it was opened up to the community.

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“We had a few people that saw us out in the community work on various projects and many of them said, ‘Boy, we’d love to be involved if we could.’ And so we thought, ‘Why not involve all of the community.’ And from there, I think it was our third year, we said, ‘Let’s do that,'” Davis told CBS4.

Last year was the largest day to date. There were more than 3,600 employees, community members and family members, and they did more than 60 projects throughout the state.

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“This year our goal is to get a little under 4,000, hoping maybe we can surprise ourselves, and maybe go over that number. We will have 70 projects across the state. A variety of projects that could really fulfill anyone’s desire of what they want to get involved with, family oriented projects, projects that need a little muscle, we got some of those projects where maybe you’re just working with kids,” Davis said.

Each project is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The host organizations provide tools and guidance for how to get the job done.

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“A lot of good projects out there, once they fill up, it’s done. So [you] got to get in there quickly, got to figure out which one you want to get involved with and sign your name up,” Davis explained.

Xcel Energy’s Day of Service is a great opportunity to get your family together and help the community. Dozens of the 70 projects are designed to be family-friendly. The project hosts determine what ages are acceptable for the work that needs to be done.

“If we can get our youth to find out what’s so important about giving to a community and having ownership about making a community better by giving time to make it better,” Davis said.

Day of Service is also a great benefit to the non-profit organizations themselves. Not only to they get some work done, and a little money from Xcel Energy to help pay for tools and materials, but they also get a new set of people learning about their mission.

“You’ll meet people in the community, establish relationships, often people learn about a non-profit for the first time. They come back and volunteer or come back and give money to that non-profit because they really like what they’re doing in the community,” Davis said.