Spoiler Alert: I’m staying in Denver!

For the past 10 months I have been working at Metro Caring. I have talked about it on a few occasions here, but to bring you up to speed, Metro Caring is the largest hunger relief organization in Denver that directly serves people. I love it as it’s the perfect balance between direct service to others and solo office time which my introverted self often craves.

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Metro Caring’s new facility has been open for just over a year.

When I started back in September my responsibilities were not unlike those of a regular Metro Caring volunteer, I would spend our open hours volunteering at the Welcome Desk, Community Navigation, the Market, and the Warehouse. After we closed our doors I took to my desk and entered data. During this time I learned many things I thought I would never learn including how to use a pallet lift.

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Food from one of Metro Caring’s nutrition classes.

Due to staffing changes and new programs, my responsibilities have changed significantly over these past months and I currently find myself coordinating two of our self-sufficiency programs and helping to lead our community navigator volunteers.

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Weighing the food before it leaves Metro Caring’s Market.

But I’ve learned that working in a non-profit does not always mean that you are doing things that are apart of your job description, most notably, the hours I spent trying to make cheese fondue for a fundraiser using wine (yes, I drank the leftover wine and left work a little tipsy that day) and special cheese. Those of you who know my picky eating habits know that I’m not fond of melted cheese unless it’s on pizza so this was a difficult task for me.

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Metro Caring is committed to reducing food waste–here are our compost bins!

There are days when Metro Caring is a difficult place to work. There are times when the stress of living in community causes small stresses at work to overwhelm me. There are times when I’m not kind and communicative with my coworkers. There are times when I’m not feeling very hospitable and compassionate and do not feel all that bad when I tell someone I cannot give them food that day for whatever the reason may be.

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Metro Caring is committed to providing nutritious food to families in need.

But I am so lucky to have been placed at Metro Caring. From the very beginning, I was made to feel like a member of the team and not just a temporary intern. I have had supportive supervisors and coworkers, many of whom have become my friends and mentors. And I am so excited to report that I have been asked to stay at Metro Caring following the end of my YAV year and that I have accepted the offer! So, I will be staying in Denver for the foreseeable future.

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Here comes more food to sort!

If you had asked me at the beginning of this year, or even at Christmas, if I wanted to stay in Denver I probably would have said no having felt like I didn’t fit in to the culture of Denver, but I love my work and am learning to hike more and have started adding more greens to my daily diet as well as, planting some roots through church involvement and friendship procurement. I think with the addition of Claude and Louise (my shih tzus) to the dog population of Denver I will be very happy here! Unfortunately, I might be homeless because the housing market in Denver is pretty insane.

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From the blessing of one of Metro Caring’s gardens.

I know I have proven to be a terrible blogger, but I do want to thank everyone who has supported me financially and emotionally over the last ten months—I could not have done this otherwise. I’m looking forward to finishing the last (!) month of my YAV year strong and then officially making myself a Denver transplant.

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One of my cooler (and more stressful) work assignments from this year!

Other fun pictures from the past few months:

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Taco John’s was in the dining hall at IU my freshman year and they have it in Colorado!

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Views from a hike in Nederland, CO

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Views from a hike in Nederland, CO

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Views from a hike in Nederland, CO

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Northminster came for a DOOR trip!

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Northminster peeps volunteering at Metro Caring

Many of the pictures of Metro Caring in this blog post came from Metro Caring’s Facebook page.

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