Category Archives: ROP Outreach

Annual outreaches & special one-time events

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.

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.

Pedal 4A Purpose Economics Hard to Beat

Pedal 4A Purpose 2018 – 9/22/18

Did you know that your Pedal 4A Purpose Registration includes the following?

  • A $20 gift certificate from Wheatridge Cyclery
  • A Pedal 4A Purpose t-shirt (bet you can’t guess what color it will be this year)
  • A Pedal 4A Purpose water bottle
  • Lunch from Chick-fil-A
  • Snacks and beverages at 6 Aid Stations manned (and womanned) by our awesome volunteers

All this for just $40 per individual and $90 per family (of three or more). Hard to beat these economics – right?


  • All participants have an opportunity to win some cool door prizes, and
  • Those who choose to raise funds or donate will receive a ticket in our major prize drawing for every $250 donated/raised. Major prizes include:
    • $1000 toward the purchase of a bike at Schwab Cycles
    • Wheatridge Cyclery stuff
    • Full auto-detailing from AutoNation Subaru Arapahoe
    • $50 – 100+ gift certificates from Schwab Cycles and Pedal

And of course, the best “economic” return of all is that you are partnering with Restoration Outreach Programs and our non-profit partners to raise much needed funding in support of our ministries.

How many other charity fund-raisers can you think of that offer these kind of economics?

You can register or donate by clicking this link.

I hope to see you on Saturday, September 22nd, at The Bridge Church at Bear Creek (new name, but same location as last year).

Calling All Reading Mentors – Training Provided – No Previous Experience Required

When you help a child succeed academically, you are helping him or her succeed in life. That is the opportunity you have to make a difference as one of ROP’s awesome team of after-school Reading Mentors.

Our Reading Mentor team has a few openings this semester. So, if you are available on Wednesday afternoons, from 3:15 to 5:00 p.m. and are interested in joining our Mentor team at our neighborhood elementary school (Crawford), I strongly encourage you to email me.  No previous experience is required, just a heart to help a child. Training will be provided on Wednesday, September 5th, and the first mentoring session for the Fall semester will begin the following Wednesday, September 12th.

We want to help as many kids as we can. So, even if you just have questions about the program, please email me at [email protected]

P.S. Pedal 4A Purpose 2018 is 6 weeks away on Saturday, September 22nd. Click here for more information or to register. And be sure to invite others to join you in this fun event which provides much needed funding for ROP’s ministry and other partnering non-profits.