Thomas Jefferson’s Leadership class spent the day helping with the Denver Rescue Mission’s Thanksgiving tradition.
This past month, the Leadership class at Thomas Jefferson High School was able to give their time to help at the Denver Rescue Mission. The class went downtown to meet with the director of the program to help unpack and organize all of the food that would be passed out to families for Thanksgiving. They spent their day tossing turkeys through assembly lines, unboxing cans, and storing clothes for people to grab for free.
The Denver Rescue Mission focuses on empathizing for people who suffer from poverty and homelessness. The organization began because they believed service was a good way to express their Catholic religion. They provide short and long term services that can help people rebuild the lives that they had or wish to have. Through their programs, the Denver Rescue Mission is able to provide education services, rehabilitation groups, shelter, meals, and much more. They have been able to provide for families and people since 1892. As apart of their services, they provide holiday meals for families on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Community members are asked to get more involved by donating food for these occasions, and this year more than 600 turkeys were donated.
The TJ students wanted to incorporate more service into their class projects. Typically, most student council projects are specific to our community, such as homecoming, powder puff, and spirit weeks. “[The students] are who pushed the idea of those kinds of projects so they came up with these projects,” said one of TJ’s Leadership teachers, Jon Poole, “it’s really rewarding because the student council stuff like the bonfires, the dances, and all that are great. They are memories that the kids really enjoy about high school, but sometimes we lose focus on what leadership really should be about.” The students were able to provide more for the community rather than just TJ students.
When most people think of learning, they think of traditional classrooms, books, and tests. It is important to remember that some of the most valuable learning experiences happen outside of the classroom. The Leadership class gives students the opportunity to go outside of their comfort zone to help their community and grow as individuals. These events give students the opportunities to evolve as a person and help spread positivity across communities and promote the idea of service. Were it not for TJ’s commitment to providing opportunities such as this, clubs such as Sustainability Club and InterACT might not seek out these service projects on their own.
Volunteer opportunities vary throughout Denver, but the Denver Rescue Mission provides year-round services that are easy to volunteer for by making food, donating clothes, or becoming an intern at their warehouse. Service projects allow people to get out of the daily routine, help others while learning about themselves, and places like the Denver Rescue Mission provide important resources for our community.