Monthly Archives: September 2014

Tapping the Power of Community

Golden Community Commons- The Armory Building


Armory Building at the corner of 13th and Arapahoe

There has been a lot of speculation around what is going to happen with the Armory Building. We believe the diverse speculation is a good reflection of the kind of space this building could lend to as it just has so many possibilities. We have heard ideas of all kinds about the future use of the Armory. It is the kind of space that could be used for multiple opportunities and ventures. Calvary Church purchased the building in July 2014 with strong support and encouragement from many stakeholders in the Golden community and Jefferson County. Calvary’s intention is and has always been that this facility would become a community-gathering place, not a place for church programmatic development. History tells us that this building has always been used by the community in a wide variety of ways, such as the Engineering Corps in the early 1900’s, to a gun range, dance hall, event center, post office, home to businesses, services clubs, etc. and most recently as a multi-use facility hosting Colorado School of Mine’s students, residents and a few of Golden’s finest businesses.

In the past month a non-profit has been created, called “Golden Community Commons” and a board has been formed to give leadership to the non-profit and the future use of the building. The board is made up of a good mix of community leaders and Calvary Church representatives. Marcie Miller (Executive Director of the Golden Civic Foundation & City Council member) is acting as our president and our own Dan Thoemke is serving as the acting vice president as they work toward the development of the board and it’s officers. It is the board’s desire to go through the process of hearing from the Golden community about their desired use for this building. There have been two community conversations with stakeholders and residents asking them the following value based questions:

-What do we already see happening in Golden that could be enhanced through the use of the Armory space?

-What are the 2 most important things you think needs to happen in the future for us to continue to nurture and build community?

If you would like to be apart of this value-based conversation, they will be hosting another conversation Tuesday, October 7th at 6:30PM in City Hall. (911 10th Street Golden, CO 80401) This conversation will include a brief presentation about the Armory, the highlights from the values currently present in our community and an opportunity to discuss in small groups ideas that would enhance or add to these values through the use of this very cool community space. After this community conversation, it will be the board’s job to discern together how to move forward as it pertains to the Armory build and future use of the space. Community Faith in Action is committed to support this new Golden opportunity as it fits so strongly with our mission to tap the power of community and facilitate collaboration and partnership that unifies and supports sustainable change.

Run…Raise Money…Have Fun!

5k-run Imagine this: A chance to run off your Thanksgiving Day meal in downtown Golden while at the same time, raising money for The Neighborhood Rehab project. It’s really true! On Saturday, November 29, we are hosting a 5K run and a 1K Elf Parade for kids in partnership with Visit Golden on Small Business Saturday. This first annual event will start at 8am in Parfet Park and end under the Welcome to Golden arch. All proceeds will go towards providing materials for our ongoing efforts to assist elderly or low income homeowners with keeping their homes warm, safe and dry. This past Day of Service, we were able to do work on 43 homes using 400 plus volunteers – it was an amazing day! However, the needs continue throughout the year. We are already aware of 15 more homeowners needing assistance which is why your donations become vital for the Neighborhood Rehab Project. November 29 will be a fun and easy way to support this important work! After the run, folks can take part in a pancake breakfast, drawings to win some fabulous prizes and of course an opportunity to Buy Local in Downtown Golden. So come join us…be a “running tool” and know that you are supporting an organization that is truly making a local impact. Go here to register and to find out more details.

Fourth Annual Neighborhood Rehab Project Providing a Service that Matters

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Senior citizens Paul and Mary are still reeling from the experience they had on Saturday, September 13th when a group of 18 people wearing tee shirts saying “I’m a Tool” appeared on their property near South Table Mountain. Mary says she can’t even begin to explain just how marvelous it was to have these jovial strangers devote an entire day to repairs on their home and work in their yard, tackling projects and chores that Paul and Mary, at 88 and 79-years-old respectively, haven’t been able to do themselves in years.

“The yard was just a terrible mess,” said Mary. “There were broken pots, overgrown weeds, rotted crabapples and the rats that were eating them. They cleaned up the whole place and hauled all the junk away. They even saved the top soil for me.”

Mary said she and Paul feel so blessed their home was part of Golden’s fourth annual “Be a Tool” Neighborhood Rehab Project and that it just “fell in our lap.” They are still not entirely clear, either, on what brought this combination of people together for this cause (most of the volunteers at their site were students from the School of Mines swim team). Even as the group was finishing up replacing tiles in the kitchen and re-screening the back door, Paul asked again, they weren’t part of some government program? And indeed, the very fact that nearly 400 volunteers, unaffiliated or from various organizations, all came together to be used as “tools” for their neighbors matters as much the work they did that day.

NRPis the foundational effort of Community Faith in Action, a Golden non-profit whose mission is to tap the power of community through the facilitation of multiple individuals and organizations in service to the common good. The scope of this year’s day of service is a testament to that achievement: the diverse army of volunteers stormed 43 homes with 32 gallons of paint, 18 gallons of roof seal, 55 bags of mulch, 20 tons of landscape rock, 3 truckloads of deck repair wood and lots of TLC. They hauled away 82 square yards of trash/debris (7 dumpsters full) and removed 50 square yards of branches. There were 28 roof repairs, 12 homes weatherized, a new hot water heater installed, pipes of 3 homes insulated to prevent freezing, insulation of ceiling/crawl space in 2 homes and 180 linear feet of fencing replaced. This was all accomplished with 3200 plus man-hours in one single day by folks with a good attitude who were all having fun in the process. No wonder people like Paul and Mary were awed at the magnitude.

So why does this day of service matter so much that 400 people with all different connections would volunteer a whole day of their time and physical labor? “I’m always looking for a way to give back within my skill set,” said project leader Aaron Simmons. “I don’t always go around talking to people about Jesus, but when I’m able to serve in this way, it’s an opportunity for me to live out my faith.”
Roy Masters, also one of the project leaders that day, said working with all the young adults on his team really made it fun. “It’s so rewarding to see the volunteers experience the appreciation of the people we’re serving,” he said. “This was my second year and I’m sure I’ll keep doing it. It’s a great cause that really brings the community together and I had a great experience both times.”
The day of service is clearly as close to the hearts of the workers as it is to recipients of the hard work and that connection is what seems to matter most about this community service effort. And then, of course, there’s the practical aspect as well. Said Mary in conclusion about her experience, “Now when I drive down the street, I don’t have to cringe when I get to my house!”

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