Giving + Community in City Park
If I could sum up The Gathering Place in one word, it would be community. This place is a sanctuary for women, children and members of the transgender community that are simply figuring things out. Right when you enter the building you are welcomed into this society of togetherness and acceptance, it is truly inspiring. Even after nine months volunteering in the kitchen I still get goose bumps leaving for the day knowing that I, along with The Gathering Place and the Tuesday crew, made a difference. If you are looking to better your soul and volunteer, I highly recommend looking into The Gathering Place.
Why did you choose City Park to do business in?
Our location at Colfax and High Street is ideal for many reasons. There is a bus stop on the #15 route right on our block and many of our members who come to receive services utilize the RTD system. Additionally, there are other nonprofit partners nearby that provide services which complement ours. For instance, Empowerment is a few blocks away. They offer classes and groups that we do not, and are a fit for some of our members. However, they do not offer meals. So someone can get breakfast and lunch at The Gathering Place and it is an easy walk to programs at Empowerment, or to receive services from DenUm, Metro Caring, and many others.
What about City Park jives with your business culture?
At The Gathering Place we focus on making connections inside our community and beyond our community. When our current building was under construction, Montview Presbyterian Church offered us space in their building to continue providing services. Many members of that congregation became connected as volunteers and donors even when we moved back to High Street. Also, we have a strong focus on health and wellness. For us that includes serving nutritious meals, providing nutritional education, having an annual health fair, and regular access to physical and mental health care.
Why are you passionate about what you do? What’s the story?
The Gathering Place was actually founded 30 years ago by two DU School of Social Work graduate students. As part of their studies they were interning at homeless shelters in the Denver area. However, more often than not, each morning they would see homeless women and children leave the shelter without a safe place to spend the day until the shelter re-opened at night. With just a $6,000 donation the pair started The Gathering Place in a small, one-room storefront. It served as a refuge serving about 25-30 women a day. Today, we’ve grown into a four-story building and serve, on average, 270 people every day. We’ve grown a lot!
What inspired the look of your business/ the design?
The Gathering Place serves women, their children, and transgender individuals. When we were designing our logo back in the early 90’s we wanted it to look like a child had drawn it. We worked with the kids, but in reality we wanted a logo that didn’t have an arm coming out of the side of someone’s head, like real children’s drawings often do. So, our stick figure logo with a mom and kids was actually drawn by an adult.
How can we help?
We have an ongoing need for volunteers. Each week, about 125 program shifts are filled by volunteers. If you would like to know more about volunteering, please contact Ashley Boland at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, we also need funds to run the programs. One fun way to support The Gathering Place financially is to run in one of the Colfax Marathon events and have friends and family give on your behalf. Juliette Lee, at email@example.com, coordinates our fundraising efforts for the Colfax Marathon.