Category Archives: Eblast

CGD Donations Can be Scheduled Any Day between Now and 12/4.

ROP’s Mission Statement is Meeting Needs, Building Relationships and Restoring Lives through Christ within the East Colfax Community. Stated slightly differently, our prayer at ROP is that as we seeks to meet the needs of those coming to our doors for help, we will also be able to build and strengthen relationships with those we serve and prayerfully seek opportunities the Holy Spirit provides to share the Love of Jesus in word as well as deed.  These Holy Spirit led opportunities (aka divine appointments) usually come when we least expect them. Such was the case this past Tuesday for Angie Long, ROP’s English as a Second Language Program Director. The following is what Angie shared with me about her divine appointment with one of her students.

I (Angie, at right with her students) went to teach my ESL class as usual recently, and was disappointed to find only one student was able to attend that day, as the 3 others had appointments or emergencies arise.  The one student who came was an older man and devout Hindu, who has been around ROP for a while.  I had prayed for an opportunity to have a conversation with him about his beliefs and what he knew about Jesus, and God answered this yesterday!  This student began asking me about my experience living in Indonesia among Muslims, which then led to more questions like, “what is the difference between Islam and Christianity?  Between Catholics and Protestants?”  His questions provided a wide open door for me to explain what the Bible teaches about God’s desire to forgive our sins and why Jesus’ death was necessary.  I asked many questions about his Hindu faith as well.  What started out as a disappointing day led to a gospel conversation that I pray will be a seed of truth planted in this man’s heart.

Opportunities like Angie’s earlier this week is why we are here. ROP’s staff and volunteers love to show the love of Christ to the people of our community by addressing their practical felt needs through our various programs, but it is our desire to address their spiritual needs that keeps us motivated and serving day in and day out.

Your financial support of ROP is what allows us pursue our mission – to meet needs, to build relationships and, ultimately, to see people’s live restored through a relationship with Jesus Christ. As year-end approaches and you consider those organizations you would like to support with a year-end gift, I hope you will include ROP in your considerations.

Colorado Gives Day has become a very significant part of ROP’s year-end fundraising efforts. Last year, we raised almost $67k and this year our hope and goal is to surpass that amount, Lord willing. Frankly, we need to reach that goal in order to have a realistic opportunity of finishing the year “in the black” (revenues > expenses) for the 10th consecutive year.

If you feel led to help us achieve that goal by making a year-end gift, I would encourage you to think about doing it through Colorado Gives Day (CGD). A CGD donation has two benefits to ROP: (1) is lower credit card fees (2% compared to normal feel of 3% or greater) and (2) the CGD $1 million Incentive Fund, through which ROP shares in the fund based on how much we receive in donations. In addition, this year’s Colorado Gives Day is being supported by a $15k matching grant!

This year, Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday, December 4th. But you do not need to wait until December 4th to make a donation. You can schedule your CGD donation any time between now and December 4th by simply clicking on the “Donate Now” button which will take you to ROP’s page on the CGD website.

Once on ROP’s page, click on the “donate” button in the upper right corner of the page. On the next page you can enter your donation amount, make a designation, and answer some optional questions. The important thing to schedule your donation for Colorado Gives Day, 12/4, is to make sure you check “CO Gives Day” under “Donation Frequency”. Then your credit card will be charged on December 4th.

Thanks for you consideration and support of Restoration Outreach Programs.

If you would like to be part of building relationships with people like Angie’s student, please contact Angie at [email protected].  We are especially looking for volunteers to help in our conversational English time on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8pm.

Thanking God for the Great Outpouring of Food – Praying for more Volunteers between noon and 3 p.m.

Wow! We are so thankful for the great response to our appeals for more food for this Saturday’s Thanksgiving Dinner at Crawford Elementary School (1600 Florence St., Aurora 80010). While there is still room for more with many of our food items, we are getting very close to our 900 serving target with most of them. Thank you, Lord! Now we are praying for a God-ordained balance between the supply of food and the demand for food :-).

Interestingly, our biggest need at this point is for people to serve during the 12 to 3 p.m. time frame. Since this year’s format (serving dinner) does not require nearly as many volunteers as needed for our traditional food distribution, we initially asked volunteers to serve for just one hour in order to make room for more people to serve. We also gave volunteering priority to those who were willing to cook and deliver food. This has resulted in the first couple hours of volunteer needs from 10-12 being very well supported and the latter hours, from 12 to 3, not so well supported.

To address this need, we are making two adjustments:

  1. We are encouraging anyone who would like to participate in Saturday’s dinner (other than cooking and delivering food) to come on down in the noon to 3 p.m. time frame. There are plenty of roles where you can serve.
  2. We are also encouraging those who have already volunteered to serve for an hour to consider sticking around and serving a little longer, especially after 12 noon. Please note that you are invited to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal and make some new friends while waiting to fill a volunteer role.

If either of these two adjustments appeals or applies to you, please contact our dinner coordinator, Vicki Ekberg, at [email protected] or 303.898.0649.   We must respectfully ask that you let Vicki know you are coming. It already promises to be a fairly chaotic day, so please do us the courtesy of contacting Vicki in advance rather than just showing up.

A couple additional notes:

  • Parking is available in Crawford’s staff parking lot which is on the east side of the school and accessed off of 17th Avenue. Otherwise, there is lots of street parking around the school.
  • As mentioned above, you are encouraged to enjoy some turkey, dressing, pie, etc. before or after serving. We hope this might give you an opportunity to visit with others from our community, but we also want to encourage everyone to be sensitive as you do so. Some will be eager to visit and share about themselves. Others may not be so eager. Please prayerfully seek to follow the Holy Spirit’s agenda (not your own).

Looking forward to sharing a great day with many of you this Saturday.

P.S. Please pray for the weather and that any snow holds off until after 2 p.m. :-).

Still Praying for the Perfect Balance Between Food Provided and People Coming to Dinner

Thanks to all who responded to last Thursday’s eblast.  Commitments have been received to provide hundreds more servings of needed items. However, as you can see from the updated list below, we still need quite a bit more food in order to reach our target of 900 servings of each item. Please pray with us that God would provide the perfect balance between the amount of food provided and the number of people who come to enjoy a Thanksgiving Dinner this Saturday, 11/17 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at nearby Crawford Elementary School).


Turkey 290
Gravy 335
Stuffing 420
Yams 372
Corn 481
Green Beans
Cranberries 275
Fruit Salad 550
Pies 70

We are asking that our cooks bring their item/s heated and ready to serve in disposable aluminum serving pans sufficient to serve 25 people. (more is okay :-). And if cost is an issue for anyone, we are more than happy to reimburse you. You just need to save and give us your receipts.

According to Vicki Ekberg (our Dinner Coordinator), we also have openings for those who would like to volunteer to serve at the dinner, especially during the later hours (see below). So if you are looking for an opportunity to express your thankfulness in a practical way by cooking and/or volunteering at the dinner, I encourage you to contact Vicki at [email protected] or 303.898.0649. She will be happy to answer your questions.

10 AM 8 (prep time)
11 AM 5
12 PM 31
1 PM 35
2 PM 15 (clean up)

Finally, I just want to give you a quick heads up that Colorado Gives Day 2018 is just three weeks from tomorrow on Tuesday, December 4th. Colorado Gives Day has become a very important part of ROP’s annual fundraising efforts, which are important in terms of being able to do special events like this Saturday’s Thanksgiving Dinner and all the programs we offer to the needy people of our community on a daily and weekly basis.  Stay tuned for more information on this year’s Colorado Gives Day and how you can schedule your CGD donation prior to 12/4.

Praying for the Perfect Balance Between Food Provided and People Coming to Dinner

ROP and our friends with Flourish East Colfax expect to serve Thanksgiving dinner to as many as 900 people from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, 11/17, at Crawford Elementary School. And it may be more than 900 since all 500 families at Crawford Elementary and many others from our community are being invited by the 7 organizations of Flourish East Colfax.

Our hope and prayer is that God would provide the perfect balance between the food provided and the people coming to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Based on the report I just received from our Thanksgiving Dinner coordinator, Vicki Ekberg, I am pretty sure we have not achieved the supply and demand balance we are hoping for. According to Vicki, this is where we currently stand:

Turkey 300
Gravy 550
Mashed Potatoes 650
Stuffing 600
Yams 550
Corn 850
Green Beans (plain) 750
Cranberries 400
Fruit Salad 550
Pies 100>

As you can see, many of the items with which we need the most help are among the easiest to prepare.  All we are asking is that our cooks bring their item heated and ready to serve in disposable aluminum serving pans sufficient to serve 25 people. (more is okay :-). And if cost is an issue for anyone, we are more than happy to reimburse you from funds others have donated in support of the event. You just need to save and give us your receipts.

With November 17th just 9 days away, we are obviously hoping and praying that many more of ROP’s friends and supporters will feel led to partner with us in making this dinner a tremendous success.

If one of those people is you, I encourage you to contact Vicki as soon as possible. She will be very happy to answer your questions and confirm the item or items you would like to prepare. Email her at [email protected] or call her cell at 303.898.0649.

Thanks for your consideration and support.

Attention Amazon Shoppers – 5% of Amazon Smile Purchases Goes to ROP thru 11/2

Once a year, I remind friends of ROP that making purchases using Amazon Smile allows 0.5% of the purchase price to go to the benefit of ROP (or the non-profit of your choice).  I am reminding you now because for the next 5 days though 11/2, Amazon is increasing the benefit 10 times to 5.0%.
So, no pressure, but if you were thinking about making a purchase on Amazon anyway, now would be a great time to do that using Amazon Smile. Clicking on this link – – should take you to the Amazon Smile page where you can do this, assuming you are already registered with Amazon Smile. If you are not registered, it is easy to do so. Just go to and select Restoration Outreach Programs as your non-profit. All subsequent purchases will provide benefit to ROP – usually 0.5%, but 5.0% for the next few days.
Sounds like a win-win to me :-).
Don’t forget to contact Vicki Ekberg at 303.898.0649 or [email protected] if you are interested in volunteering to serve a Thanksgiving Dinner to our community at Crawford Elementary School on Saturday, 11/17. We especially need cooks to prepare and bring an item to the school that morning.

And One Very Special “Every Day Hero”

It was a fun and special morning at Restoration Outreach Programs’ Food Bank. Nobody serving at our Food Bank does it for the recognition. On the contrary, I think most of our Food Bank team serve out of gratitude to God for His many blessings and a desire to share those blessings by serving others. Indeed, most of our Food Bank volunteers are members of our community who originally came as food recipients and later asked if they could give back and say ‘thank you’ by joining our awesome volunteer team. It truly is a special group of people who serve a lot more than food to the hundred or so families that come to the Food Bank each week.

Today was special because one member of our Food Bank family received some well deserved recognition. Francis Balbin has been serving with ROP’s Food Bank two days a week for more than 5 years. She is a key member of the Food Bank team who always works hard and almost single-handedly has kept ROP’s food pantry well organized (not an easy job). Unfortunately, Francis will soon be leaving her ROP family to go minister to aging family members in Missouri.

So it was especially sweet when Mitch Jelniker and team from Channel 7 News showed up at ROP this morning and presented Francis with a “7 Every Day Hero” award. If you would like to see Francis receive her award on TV and hear a little bit from Food Bank Director, Tish Freeman, and yours truly, you will have 4 opportunities to do so at the following times:

  • Sunday, 11/4, at 10 p.m.
  • Monday, 11/5, at 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, 11/10, at 10 p.m.
  • Sunday, 11/11, at 7 a.m.

I thank God for Francis and all of ROP’s regular (we call them “High Impact”) volunteers. They are all heroes in my book.

Well done, Francis! You will be greatly missed by your ROP family.

By the way, remember to contact Vicki Ekberg at 303.898.0649 or [email protected] if you are interested in volunteering to serve a Thanksgiving Dinner to our community at Crawford Elementary School on Saturday, 11/17. We especially need cooks to prepare and bring an item to the school that morning.

A Little Shopping, a Little Cooking and a Big Chance to Bless Others

Looking for a volunteer opportunity for Thanksgiving?  Here’s a great one!  A little shopping, a little cooking, and a chance to bless someone with food and fellowship as part of your Thanksgiving celebration.

This year, instead of our traditional food distribution, ROP is sponsoring a sit-down dinner for our community, including all of the families of our host, Crawford Elementary School, located just a few blocks from ROP. The basic plan is to serve dinner to about 300 families from 11 am to 2 pm on Saturday, November 17th, in Crawford’s cafeteria.

Our biggest need at this point is people to cook food and bring it to Crawford Elementary that Saturday morning. In order to make sure we have the right mix of Thanksgiving favorites to serve our neighbors, we are asking our cooks to select an item or items ahead of time.  We will be more than happy to reimburse you for the cost of the food you prepare. You just need to keep and submit your receipts.

The blessing of this change in format is that it is much more relational and supports ROP’s community development efforts. The downside is that it does not require quite as many volunteers as in past years. Therefore, those who volunteer to cook and deliver food to the school will also have priority in terms of filling volunteer positions at the dinner. Having said that, please let us know if you would like to volunteer but are not able to cook, and we will do our best to accommodate you. Please, please do not just decide to show up at the last minute. In order to make the dinner work well for everyone, including you, we need to know you are coming. Thank you in advance for that courtesy.

Anyone interested in participating in the dinner – whether as a cook, a non-cook volunteer or a donor – should email me, Vicki Ekberg (event volunteer coordinator) at [email protected], and either I or Tish Freeman (event food coordinator) will get back to you promptly with more specific instructions and answers to your questions.

ROP is committed to meeting needs, building relationships, and restoring lives through Christ within our East Colfax community, and we couldn’t do that without you, our friends and family in Christ, doing God’s work, serving Him by helping those He seeks to save.

Check Out the Latest Happenings at ROP

The latest bi-monthly edition of ROP’s eNewsletter – Urban Voices – is now available on ROP’s website.

This 2-page edition of Urban Voices includes the following articles:

  • Kazumi’s Story – Marla Vlieger helps committed Food Bank volunteer, Kazumi Austin, share her story about how God has used her ministry at ROP to bless others and change her life.
  • Will ROP’s Hospitality Room Become a Hospitality Room? – The building across the street from ROP went on the market on Monday. It’s going to take a miracle, but we believe God wants ROP to buy it and use it to bless our community. Could be exciting!
  • Reflections on First Year of Wednesday Lunch Outreach – This month we are celebrating one year of Wednesday Lunch Outreaches at the Martin Luther King Library. Tom Adams shares lessons learned and blessings received.

Click on this link – Urban Voices – October 1, 2018 Edition. (If you cannot see the embedded version, just click on the link below it to access the current and older editions of Urban Voices.)

Hope you enjoy this edition of Urban Voices.

By the way, we still have room for Homework Helpers on Fridays and Reading Mentors on Wednesdays at Crawford Elementary. Even if you cannot do it this semester, but think it might work next semester, please let me know. We would love to add you to one of our Crawford teams.

Crawford Elementary Looking for “Homework Helpers” on Friday Afternoons

If you have been reading ROP’s eblasts over the last several years, you know that our relationship with Crawford Elementary School has become an important part of ROP’s ministry and community development efforts. On Friday, we received some additional evidence that our relationship is also important to our friends at Crawford. It came in the form of a request from Crawford’s Communities In Schools Site Coordinator, Alma Palma, asking for our help in providing help with their Homework Club on Friday afternoons. Here is what she sent me.

“Crawford’s homework club is an informal program designed to assist students with their homework. We get together every Friday from 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm. During the homework club children work on their own, and if they need help, they raise their hand and we come and assist them. We do not intent to teach, and there are no specific qualifications. We have about 25 students right now, but we are getting more. We need at least 4 to 6 volunteers per session. But the more we have the better it is.”

I know this is similar to our request for Reading Mentors on Wednesday afternoons, but I still wanted to get this request out there for our Denver friends to consider because (1) we want to help the school and its children in any way we can, and (2) in the hope there may be some available during the requested time frame (1:15 to 2:15 on Fridays) that may not be available for Reading Mentoring (3:15 to 4:45 on Wednesdays).

If you are interested or simply have questions, please email me and Alma Palma at [email protected].

Thanks for your consideration of this request on behalf of our friends at Crawford Elementary.

By the way, we still have room for more Reading Mentors on Wednesdays. Even if you cannot do it this semester, but think it would work next semester, please let me know. We would love to add you to our Mentor Team.

P4AP 2018 Provides Much to be Thankful For

Pedal 4A Purpose 2018 began with probably the best weather we have ever had for the event. Just the first of many things for which we thank God related to this year’s bike ride and run/walk. Others include:

  • Our awesome team of volunteers,
  • The 111 people who participated,
  • Our hosts, the Bridge Church at Bear Creek
  • Our two ministry partners, Christian Cycling and Denver Leadership Initiative,
  • Our generous sponsors,
  • And our many donors who contributed more than $22.5k to ROP and our ministry partners.

Of course, it is not too late to add to this total. This year’s Pedal 4A Purpose website will remain open for another week until October 1st. To make a donation, just click on this link to the website’s fundraising page.

And to check out more photos from this year’s event, click on this link.