I spend part of my time here in Denver volunteering at EarthLinks. The operation is centered around a large urban garden nearby the Mile-High Stadium and includes a solid community of participants that work and break bread together.
While the primary goal of EarthLinks is to foster community for these folks who can often feel isolated and marginalized, it also provides some resources, a clearinghouse for helpful information, a secure environment, and ample opportunity for participants to commune with nature and to develop creative skills. Each day begins with a communal breakfast, prepared by the participants with donated food and produce from the garden.
I’ve spent most of my volunteer days so far working with participants at the various workshops—it’s been a great way to get to know the community. It’s also super-fun to be involved in their daily activities: working in the garden, making soaps and lotions from the herbs they grow, building bee boxes in the woodshop, creating stylish earrings from recycled materials, pressing flowers for decorative candles and cards.
I look forward to each day that I volunteer at EarthLinks; the delightful conversations and enjoyable activities allow me space to focus on simplicity and creative beauty. Like so many great ministries, it’s sometimes unclear if I’m helping them or if they’re helping me. I suppose in the end it doesn’t matter—that’s community.