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Volunteering from Denver to Haiti

Wind Crest residents stuff bears, send supplies to help the sick and suffering near and far

Created date

March 23rd, 2010

Wind Crest residents are volunteering their time and energy to help others in need, both locally and around the world. Last month, members of the Wind Crest community participated in two different volunteer events. One was aimed at brightening the day of sick children in Denver while the other helped earthquake victims in Haiti. Something small can mean so much, Wind Crest resident and regular volunteer Priscilla Payne says. And I think a lot of people feel that way. Most people don t have a lot of extra money to give away but are more than willing to share their time for a good cause if they are given an opportunity. One of Wind Crest s largest and most popular campus projects is the Build-a-Bear event it has hosted for The Children s Hospital in Denver for the past three years. During this winter s Build-a-Bear gathering, residents and their good-hearted guests gathered in the community s main restaurant over a cup of coffee to help stuff old-fashioned teddy bears for young patients. Phyllis Stave, a Wind Crest resident who also volunteers on the community s Welcome Committee, thinks it s a fun and worthwhile event. I ve done it a couple times, Stave says. I look forward to it. All the bears go to children who are in critical condition and need comfort. Some of us try to sneak a special [fabric valentine] heart in each bear along with the stuffing. And really, it isn t much like work. You enjoy a coffee and talk with friends the whole time you re stuffing. So it s an easy way to help. Wind Crest donates approximately 100 stuffed bears to the hospital each year. Many who live at Wind Crest give their time off-campus too. A large group recently went to a warehouse to help a local nonprofit organize and pack medical supplies that were collected for Haitian relief efforts. Lots of people from Wind Crest and the general public helped out, says Payne, participating alongside her husband, Marshall, who learned about the program from a friend. There was so much goodwill to go around. She adds, Some people prefer to help by sending money, but we think it s best to give our time. Money is great, but these charities still need manpower. And at the end of a day of volunteering, you feel like you really contributed, that you made a change.