Category Archives: ROP Ministry Partners

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.

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.

The Primary Purpose of Pedal 4A Purpose is to Raise Money

Tomorrow, Saturday, September 22nd, is the first day of Fall. More importantly, it is also the day of Pedal 4A Purpose 2018.

Certainly, one of the main goals of Pedal 4A Purpose is to make it as enjoyable as possible for our participants (riders, runners and walkers). God has given us a perfect day in terms of the weather. Temperatures will be in the 60s and 70s during the event and winds are forecasted to be light. Thank you, Lord! Truly, it promises to be our best weather day ever since ROP started running Pedal 4A Purpose 10 years ago.

Of course, we have also tried to do our best to make a great event by including the following:

• A variety of cycling, running and walking options,

•6 Aid Stations along our courses,

•A Chick fil A lunch,

•Great prizes for our fundraisers and participants. (Every $250 donated or raised earns 1 ticket in our fundraiser prize drawing.), and

•An on-site mechanic to help with last minute MINOR maintenance issues.

Now it’s your turn.  I am happy to report that as of this moment we have 104 people registered to participate and we have raised $19.2k for ROP, Christian Cycling and Denver Leadership Initiative.  Both of these numbers are good improvements from last year, but we have room for more participants and, as the sub-title above states, the primary purpose of tomorrow’s event is to raise money for our three organizations. So, we invite you, your family and your friends to join us tomorrow morning. (You can register on-line up till 9 p.m. this evening by clicking on this link, and we will be more than happy to take walk-up registrations tomorrow morning.)

We also invite you to be a part of making it a great day for ROP, Christian Cycling and Denver leadership Initiative by making a donation on the Pedal 4A Purpose website – even if you are unable to participate. Just click on this link to the website’s fundraising page.

Thanks for your consideration of these invitations to partner with ROP and our ministry partners in serving our communities.

ROP’s Food Bank, ESL Program and P4AP Looking for Participants

This will be quick. I want to make you aware of three opportunities to partner with ROP in serving our disadvantaged community:

  1. The first opportunity is with ROP’s Food Bank. Earlier this year, we began receiving food from the South Glen Whole Foods store. The perishable foods provided by Whole Foods have been a huge blessing to the people served by ROP’s Food Bank.  We would love to add a few more people to the team that collect the food at Whole Foods and/or drive the food to ROP. If you are available around noon on Monday’s and are interested in this opportunity, please contact Tish Freeman at [email protected].
  1. Opportunity no. 2 is with ROP’s English as a Second Language program.  We are hoping to start a Wednesday evening conversational English class for those who are unable to attend our morning classes.  This will be a time for them to practice speaking and build a friendship with a native speaker.  We need 2-3 more volunteers to make this happen.  We will meet 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the ROP building.  You can volunteer every week or every other Wednesday.  Please consider joining us!  Anyone interested should contact Angie Long at [email protected].
  1. While the first two opportunities are ongoing, the final opportunity is for just one day and is coming up very soon, like this Saturday. It is an opportunity to get some exercise, enjoy some fellowship with family and friends and help ROP raise some much needed support so that we can keep offering programs like our Food Bank and ESL program. Yes, this is another shameless but brief plug for Pedal 4A Purpose, ROP’s annual bike ride and run/walk.  There are many good reasons to do this, including of course the support thing and an ideal weather forecast, but I will not bother repeating them all again here. For more information, to register or to donate just click on this link.

 Thanks for your consideration of these opportunities to partner with ROP in serving our needy community.

One Day in Support of One Community and Several Ministry Partners

Pedal 4A Purpose is coming up very soon, just This coming Saturday on September 22nd. It promises to be a special day of good fun and fellowship and great weather. Yes, my weather program is forecasting a perfect day with lots of sun, no rain and temps in the mid 70s.

But the best thing about this day that makes it most special (at least for me) is that it supports all the things that happen almost every day at Restoration Outreach Programs, and with our staff and our ministry partners, Denver Leadership Initiative and Christian Cycling.

Just last Wednesday at ROP:

• 25+ students participated in English as a Second Language class,

•70 homeless men and women received a Chik fil A lunch and some prayer and care,

•10 students were tutored in our Work Readiness program,

•8 children participated in Reading mentoring at Crawford Elementary, and

•14 children sang songs, played games and learned from the Bible as part of our evening Spark program (photo).

On other days of the week:

•8 students receive seminary level Bible training

•100 families receive food and a lot of care.

So, I hope you will consider joining us for a bike ride or run/walk on a beautiful Colorado day, but even if you cannot make it, please consider making a donation and using this special day to support a lot of special ministry that happens year-round through ROP and our ministry partners.

Thanks for your consideration.