Volunteers of America Colorado is a nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in-need transform their lives. Through more than 50 distinct human service programs, Volunteers of America changes the lives of more than 140,000 vulnerable Coloradoans each year. VOA services include housing and emergency shelters, hunger and nutrition services and many other community support programs. Our work touches the mind, body, heart and ultimately the spirit of those we serve. VOA integrates compassion with highly effective programs that build and strengthen communities.
In 1896, under the guidance of Volunteers of America co-founders Maud and Ballington Booth, the VOA Colorado Branch was founded with its first programs in Boulder, Leadville, Pueblo and, soon after, Denver. By the turn of the century VOA soup kitchens fed the hungry and sleeping space was provided for the homeless. Over one hundred years ago, a handful of inspired individuals began a journey that continues today. This journey brought them to the extremes of poverty, into the world of the abused, the destitute, the hungry, in to a world that lacked both material and spiritual comfort. These dedicated individuals, known as the Volunteers of America, rolled up their sleeves and created shelter for homeless women and children and served meals throughout the year so that no one would hunger. Needy children were treated to festivities on each holiday and job opportunities were created for the unemployed. This year more than 17,000 dedicated volunteers helped Volunteers of America's Colorado reach over 140,000 men, women, and children. We do more than Feed, Shelter, Support and Care. Every effort is made to assist individuals reach their full potential and become self-sufficient.
The name Volunteers of America was selected when the organization was founded 122 years ago. It signified that the organization was comprised of people voluntarily choosing to help others. In those days, a volunteer was anyone who was committed to a mission or cause. Since its earliest days, when Volunteers of America brought food, medicine and comfort to people not served by other charities, volunteering has been instrumental in every aspect of the organization's ministry of service. Today, our services are delivered through a partnership of professional staff, volunteers and other community supporters.
The need to address human suffering has always been the foundation of services provided by the Volunteers of America. The Booths captured their vision of expressing Christian commitment by serving people in need. Ballington Booth once said, "You can not talk to a man about God when he is hungry and half clothed. You need to feed and cloth him first. Our work is not all bread and shelter. The underprivileged, the weak and the unfortunate need more. They need sympathy, the warmth of fellowship, and the instilling of courage."
Irving Street Women's Residence Program Participant Testimonials:
"You can actually re-build your life here."
"I am finally somewhere stable and safe off the street and able to get my stuff done…don't have to worry about my next meal and where I'm going to sleep."
"I needed a place to get my life back together. Volunteers of America helped me through the process and believed in me. Thank you."
Meals on Wheels Program Participant Testimonials:
"I'm not hungry anymore."
"Gives me peace of mind not worrying about where my food is going to come from."
"I don't have to worry about how I am going to get to the store and how I am going to pay for the food. I am on a fixed income and sometimes it is paying my bills or buying food."
"Thank you for the services you provide for the elderly… I no longer fear starting a fire in my home by cooking."
"Thanks for being there for me when I am broke and sick."
Camp POSTCARD Volunteer Testimonial:
"It is important to know what is going on in the community around us and volunteering with this camp opened my eyes immensely," said one of the volunteers that participated in this year's Volunteers of America Camp POSTCARD.