Posts written by communityfaithinaction

Racing to the end of 2014

Be a Tool 5K Run and Elf Parade

Be a Tool 5K Run and Elf Parade

Come get your holiday season off to a great start with a 5K run on Saturday, November 29th! This all-ages, timed event will take runners and walkers through the heart of Golden along Clear Creek with a finish under Golden’s iconic arch on Washington Avenue. The 5K will start at 8 a.m. with check-in starting at 7:30 a.m. Participants will receive a technical t-shirt, reusable goody bag, food and drink. The first 200 to register will receive a free elf hat.

The Elf Parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Parfet Park and travel south on Washington Avenue to 13th Street to the after-party that will include a free pancake breakfast for all participants and prizes from Golden’s local businesses. Feeling especially creative? Prizes will be given to the best elf costumes for the following categories: adult, child, family theme and pet.

For more information or to register, go here.  Adults are $35 and youth (under 12) are $15 for the 5K Run and Elf Parade through November 27. Walk up registration for the 5K Run for adults will be $40.

Running not your thing? Participants, adult or child, can choose to register for only the elf parade for $10 and will also receive a t-shirt and pancake breakfast. If you would like to volunteer, we have needs where we would appreciate your help. Please send an email here to sign up.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Neighborhood Rehab Project which will help homeowners in Golden with their warm, safe and dry household needs through empowering “Be A Tool” volunteers and purchasing materials to meet those needs.

Don’t miss this fun, festive, community event! It is a great way to get fit, support a local cause, shop local on Small Business Saturday, eat fabulous pancakes, watch a parade and of course, dress up like an elf. See you on November 29th!

Support the work of CFIA on Colorado Gives Day!

Colorado Gives Day

Community Faith in Action invites Coloradans to support our efforts to facilitate collaboration and partnership which unifies and supports sustainable change within our community by donating to us on Colorado Gives Day, December 9, 2014.

Colorado Gives Day is an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. For the fifth consecutive year, Community First Foundation and FirstBank are partnering to present Colorado Gives Day.

As a participating nonprofit on, Community Faith in Action will benefit from this initiative in many ways.

“The donations we receive on Colorado Gives Day help us do more to support the community and ensure programs like the Neighborhood Rehab Project, Rocky Mountain Police Chaplaincy and the Together Church of Golden facilitation remain strong,” says Dan Thoemke, director of CFIA. “Our goal is to raise $15,000 this year toward these efforts as well as receive our share of the $1 Million Incentive Fund.”

Thanks to Community First Foundation and First Bank, Colorado Gives Day 2014, features a $1 Million Incentive Fund, one of the largest gives-day incentive funds in the country. Every nonprofit receiving a donation on Colorado Gives Day receives a portion of the incentive fund, which increases the value of every dollar donated. For example, if Community Faith in Action receives 10 percent of the total donations made on Colorado Gives Day, CFIA also receives 10 percent of the $1 Million Incentive Fund. 

Colorado Gives Day Holiday Celebration and Expo

This year, there will be an exciting way to “give where you live.” Join us at Table Mountain Inn on Colorado Gives Day, December 9th from 4-7p.m. where you will find our booth along with several other local organizations. You will be able to make your online donation at our display table while also learning about other local nonprofits and service organizations making a difference in the Golden community. And when you make a donation, you will receive discounts to participating Golden merchants. There will be happy hour food and drinks plus live music to enjoy as well.

If you are unable to attend this event, you can go to here to make your tax deductible gift today and set it to withdraw from your account on December 9th.

Thank you in advance for partnering with us. Together, let’s reach the $15,000 mark!

Neighborhood Rehab: Video and Snapshots from the Day of Service


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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Are You a Tool?

Are you a Tool?

are-you-orangeThe Neighborhood Rehab Project Day of Service is just around the corner! Join us on September 13 as we work alongside the low income, elderly or disabled to help maintain their homes in a way that keeps them safe, warm and dry. All skill levels and all ages are welcome to take part in this community event as we have a variety of needs to be met. On the morning of the 13th, we will meet at Hillside Community Church at 8:30am. From there, we will disperse throughout the Golden community, led by NRP project managers, as we go to different work sites and become “tools” for the day. We will provide coffee, juice and snacks in the morning then a boxed lunch will be provided mid-day by the City of Golden and Madgreens. This is an absolutely great day to get out, get involved and get plugged into your community! Join us and spread the word. You can register at In order to receive your free “I’m a Tool” t-shirt, sign up before September 5th.

The Rise

rise5Turning the corner into the Golden Terrace mobile home park, I was totally caught off guard by what I saw. A woman was sitting in a lawn chair while 10 high school students gathered around her listening to her share and asking her questions. It was quite a site. For the first time in possibly a long time, this lady had an audience of young people who were interested in knowing her story and were also asked to share theirs. It was a joy to see. Oh, and by the way, they also completely remodeled this grateful woman’s front yard and brought it back to life.
This scene played several times over at different homes in the Golden Terrace community, as youth from Golden and Iowa came together to serve for two days in July for our Neighborhood Rehab Rise event. It was such a joy to watch and come along side these youth as they shared their time, energy and listening ears to these residents. Over 20 projects were completed by these kids, which ended with a “Block Party” in the mobile home park consisting of water balloons, a jumping castle, an illusionist, a band and much more as we provided a BBQ dinner for all involved. I heard over and over again what an impact these kids made.
Another grateful woman actually wrote a note to the folks who painted her home, telling them how grateful she was and how she saw God shining through them. In another example, a 20 year old girl who was raising her 26 year old down syndrome sister without a mother or father received a desperately needed water heater and a yard makeover. In all these stories, the piece that stood out to me most was: These residents felt valued and cared for. It was a blessing to see these kids work so hard this week and I personally can’t wait to be a part of future service projects with the youth from our community. Stay tuned for another similar project next summer — we would love to have you partner with us.

-Jeff Fox

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5K August

5k-runHere’s a fun way to get into the holiday spirit of giving and kick off the season in a healthy way while you’re at it. Golden’s first annual BE A TOOL 5K run and 1K Elf Parade will take place on Small Business Saturday November 29th and there a lot of good reasons to put this fun event on your calendar.
For one thing, runners and walkers will be making a positive difference in the community. All proceeds from the BE A TOOL 5K will go directly toward building supplies for Golden’s Neighborhood Rehab Project which for three years has grown in its mission to provide home repair locally for those in need through its annual day-long event every September and its hundred plus volunteers.
Another good reason to be part of the fun is you can support local businesses and save on your Christmas shopping with coupons and specials retailers will be offering that day.
If that’s still not enough incentive to join friends and neighbors under the “Howdy Folks” arch in your running shoes at 8:15 a.m. that morning, maybe the pancake breakfast that will be served afterward will help get you going?
So save the date for November 29th! Registration details will be available soon.


Carving out Space for Community

60e68e4490a9351c0393d47c3399f81bDo you ever walk into a building, a room or a home and you just get that sense, “I want to be here”? On May 31st we got the opportunity to carve out a little space called Miner’s Alley for one day to make it a Better Block.  (see Folks from all over Golden worked for weeks planning for one day to transform a space for community to come alive. This one day was an opportunity to get Golden businesses, residents and leaders together to ask the question, “what could Miner’s Alley become?” The day was a success, people came, music played, food and drinks were served and once again this community acted like a community. The point is exemplified once again that when people gather in a SPACE designed for creating relationship and connecting over common interests, people thrive. However, there is a problem in our world. People do not know how to share their passions or gifts, they do not know where they fit and often times just feel too busy to try anything new. We want to help you overcome that, because we know the power of collective impact and it is truly fun to be apart of something that is bigger than ourselves, especially when it has the potential to change the world we live in! There are cities all across our nation that are embracing the idea of collective impact. Community Faith in Action exists to foster these kinds of relationships. We look around our community and see where people are working to make a difference and where our Christian values line up. That is where we want to work. We realize that if you are a member of a church, government organization, a non-profit or a business then you have a chance to make a difference in the city where you dwell. However, we need to re-learn how to define success. There is a new score card being developed as we speak and that card is defined by wins for the city collectively, not just your organization. This is what true community transformation is when we start living for the common good of our towns. So go ahead and carve out a little space for community, you will be surprised at what you find!

We want to challenge you this month to look around your city and see where people are gathering for the common good. Is the community engaging in these spaces? Is there room for you to get involved? You might want to offer to help those who are leading, share your personal passions with them and see where you fit. Then when opportunity presents itself, jump in for the common good of your community and do not worry about who gets the credit, just make sure you are leaving that space better than when you arrived. Some websites to explore: Neighborhood Rehab Project  Community Faith in Action  Together Church of Golden City of Golden Specific ways to volunteer this summer: the Community Garden contact Amanda Strouth or the Farmer’s Market contact Dawn Smith


Work Project Turns Teens into Tools

It’s better to give than it is to receive and the only thing sweeter than the truth behind that old adage is passing it on to the next generation and allowing them to experience the joy of community service for themselves. That’s the idea behind Golden’s annual Neighborhood Rehab Project spawning a new youth event July 23-24 with a similar mission. The new event will involve over 100 teens on their annual Rise on the Road trek from Iowa joining as many local youth in Golden to share a hands-on experience learning what it means to love thy your neighbor through home projects. The effort is being organized by Community Faith in Action and local Together Church youth leaders This new event will allow the young people to serve residents in the Golden Terrace sub-division in much the same way the Neighborhood Rehab Project performs home repair locally for those in need,  through its annual day-long event and its hundred plus volunteers donning their “I’m a Tool” tees come September. Unlike Neighborhood Rehab Project, however, where adults and various tradespeople do larger scale construction jobs like roof repair, Rise on the Road youth will work alongside Golden Terrace residents on smaller work projects like cleaning up debris, fixing fences, sealing windows and painting. “When we found out Rise on the Road was coming to Golden, we thought, what a great opportunity to help kids become a tool, too,”   “We want to really connect them with the community rather than just have them come in, do some work and go home.” There are several ways CFIA hopes to create that connection through the two-day event according to Thoemke. “First of all, the teenagers are going to work right alongside the residents of Golden Terrace on the various jobs and get to know the people they are serving,” he explained. “In addition, the work projects will be surrounded by times of teaching the youth all around the values of one’s faith and what it means to be a good neighbor by becoming a tool in your community.” And last, said Thoemke, “We are going to throw a fun block party with our neighbors at Golden Terrace and celebrate our accomplishments together.” The two days of learning and work projects will culminate with the block party on Thursday afternoon which is being made possible by the City of Golden’s neighborhood block grant. Thoemke said there will be a BBQ, games for younger kids, a bounce house and live music by the local Denver-based band, Red Fox Run. To raise funds for events like Rise on the Road in July and the Neighborhood Rehab Project taking place September 13th this year, CFIA is teaming up with Small Business Saturday to organize the first annual “Be a Tool” 5K and Kid’s fun run on November 29th in downtown Golden. For more information on any of these events, please contact Dan Thoemke at 720-373-9605 or


Buffalo Bill Days

DSC_0690 Golden’s largest community festival, the famed Buffalo Bill Days, is just around the corner. While it is typically known for its “Best of the West” parade, Muttin’ Bustin’, live music, car shows and food vendors, there is another piece to the festivities that is worth highlighting. On Sunday July 27th at 9am in Parfet Park, The Together Church of Golden will hold its 9th annual Buffalo Bill Days Church Service. This has been a very inspiring event in years past as eleven of Golden’s local churches and their congregations worship, pray and learn together as a unified body of Christian believers. Denominational differences are put aside and people find great joy in turning their attention to hearing about how God is at work in and among our community. The focus this year will be on the impact youth are having in our city. We will hear from several of the youth who took part in the RISE on the Road event and about their time serving Golden residents during the week. This time is also a great opportunity to meet community members from Calvary Episcopal Church, Faith Lutheran Church, First Baptist Church of Golden, First Presbyterian Church of Golden, First United Methodist Church, Hillside Community Church, Horizon Christian Fellowship, Golden Church of the Nazarene, New Hope Community Church, Applewood Community Church, and Synergy Fellowship. So come, tell others about it and take part of this unique and meaningful piece of Buffalo Bill Days.  For more information about the Together Church


Tapping the Power of Community

60e68e4490a9351c0393d47c3399f81bLet us introduce you to a family in Golden who has experienced the true power of Community. In the fall of 2013, Colorado experienced historical amounts of rain and flooding. There were several families in Golden who experienced severe damage requiring tons of mitigation and repairs. The Neighborhood Rehab Project received a request from one of our local elementary school staff members who was moved with compassion for one of these families who had suffered from the flooding. This staff member asked if we would be willing to reach out and see how we could help. Graham Fetyko, our lead assessor, went out to visit this family and check out the damages. To his surprise, he found a family in desperate need, not wanting to ask anyone for help, but who also knew this was a time to depend on the power of those in the community. Graham discovered a contaminated well, bad appliances, a destroyed basement and many other problems that made this home a hazard to their health. There was a decision to be made, should this family pick up and leave the community and home they loved so dearly or stick it out believing that with the right connections this whole house could undergo repairs and be a home again?   The property damages came in at a staggering $80,000 to be restored. The Neighborhood Rehab Project team decided we would walk along side this family doing the research needed to see what organizations, businesses, government agencies and volunteers would be willing to give in the restoration process. Once again, this amazing community rose to the occasion; J&R Electric Company discounted their services, Imagine360 discounted their work, the local Salvation Army committee made a donation, Jefferson County Housing Authority provided a grant and a deferred loan and many volunteers from the Neighborhood Rehab Project stepped up to the call. The $80K quickly whittled down to approximately $39K, an over 50% savings. Together, this community has made a difference! No one wants to ask for help in times of need, when circumstances and decision-making feels crippling, but we have yet again seen the power of collaboration, we have experienced the joy of working together and this family will forever be our friends.   If you are interested in being a part of stories like this, please reach out and let us know that you want to “be a tool” by visiting our website, volunteering or donating.

Better Block GoldenBetter Block Golden is creating today what could exist tomorrow in Miner’s Alley, downtown Golden. You are invited to come help (or just watch the process) as we build and enjoy the Alley for one day, showing our city what it could be! The Alley has historically been a functional space for deliveries but today, businesses are popping up and the area is crying for revitalization. On Saturday May 31, we will be coming together to build community, figuratively and physically. Residents and business owners alike will be coming together for a “ONE DAY PARTY” as we build temporary stages for music, seating, foliage, paint, etc. There will be plenty of work to do but it will be filled with camaraderie and good times … which seems to just happen when Golden folks come together. The purpose of this day will be to get the ball rolling toward what can permanently be done in the future to create a great Miner’s Alley for Golden. So, come and be a part of casting the vision — from dawn to dusk May 31st.

Meet Melinda Warner and Amanda Strouth: Two ladies who answered the call to step up and volunteer to oversee the Together Church of Golden garden plot in the Golden Community Garden. The plot was acquired about 5 years ago but was in great need of having someone coordinate volunteers for the weekly maintenance as well as the planting and harvest days. Both Melinda and Amanda speak of the joy they have found in taking part of a community effort to help provide fresh, beautiful produce to those in need. Last year, 900 pounds of food was distributed to others locally through the Christian Action Guild.
Even though they have filled the coordinating role, they want to encourage others to come and be involved. You can give as little as an hour a week to help with weekly weeding or harvesting later in the season. Amanda encourages folks to “not be intimidated, but to just COME and we will show you and teach you what to do.”  This environment is a wonderful place to learn from other gardeners and their expertise. Also, both ladies welcome children to come with their parents to volunteer so they can begin to see the process of gardening.
These ladies are a lovely example of hearing about an opportunity, responding and reaping the benefits of being involved in community service. May we all be encouraged to do the same…What are you being called to do? How can you begin to play a role in your neighborhood, church, community?
If you would like to become involved in the Together Church of Golden garden, or have any questions, please contact Amanda here.

“I love gardening so for me this made sense. I had been looking something
to do, to spend my time and to be of service. This was a no brain-er.”   – Melinda

TCG garden plot at The Golden Community Garden

TCG plot at the Golden Community Garden

Evidence of the hard work already put forth!

Evidence of the hard work already put forth…

Volunteers working the garden on planting day

Volunteers working in the garden on planting day. Thank you to those who came!