As the body of Christ, we are called to love one another as Christ loved us. We are called to reach out to the poor and lonely, the widows and orphans, the outcast and downtrodden. Jesus invites us, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Mt 25:40)
Getting involved in your church is a great way to serve your community.
There are also many ways to serve those outside your Christian community, and we list some below. These are only the ones we know about – contact us if you have more to add.
You can also search volunteermatch.org. The site has plenty of opportunities in Boulder, from long term commitments to one time events.
Service organizations GCFers recommend:
International Student ministries/organizations:
- Have an international student over for dinner through Boulder Friends of International Students! As a ‘host family’ with BFIS, you can volunteer to either a) get paired up with an international student and commit to having them over for dinner once a month (or coffee, or a hike, etc.), or b) give just one evening! Volunteer to have an international student over for dinner for just once. This is a fantastic way to show hospitality to people from around the world, and it’s a lot of fun! It would be a great opportunity for married couples especially (although single people can sign up too). Apply or find more info at http://www.colorado.edu/
- Be an International Student Guide: Consider applying to be an International Student Guide through International Student and Scholar Services (the ISSS)! ISGs are basically friends to new international students on campus as they arrive–helping them adjust to living in the U.S. and to academic life at CU. Most of us know how daunting and lonely it can be at first when you move to a new place; add to that the adjustment of a new country, and you can imagine how important it is for new international students to have someone on their side that they can ask questions of in the first weeks. You can be a huge blessing just by being a friendly face and knowing what you know about Boulder and CU. Another great thing about this opportunity is that it’s weighted toward the beginning of the semester when things are sometimes a bit less busy.
- Show hospitality to an international student from your department! You don’t have to sign up with an organization. Consider simply inviting an international student from your department over for dinner!
Ministries to the Poor and Homeless:
- Boulder Shelter for the Homeless – http://bouldershelter.org/
- Boulder Outreach to the Homeless Overflow (BOHO) – http://www.bohocommunity.org/
- Harvest of Hope Food Pantry – http://harvestofhopepantry.org/
- Food Bank of the Rockies – http://www.foodbankrockies.
- Bridge House – http://boulderbridgehouse.org/
- Attention Homes (Shelter for At-Risk Youth) – http://www.attentionhomes.
- Habitat for Humanity – http://www.flatironshabitat.
Other service organizations:
- Real Choices Pregnancy Care Center – http://www.
Less formal ways we can all be serving those around us:
Little things for labmates, coworkers, and students.
Carry around a few things to give to homeless people panhandling: grocery store gift cards, granola bars, etc.
Whether or not you give them something, talk to homeless people and show them you genuinely care about their well-being. Treat them as the fallen kings and queens that they are.
Start a prayer group in your department. The Speech and Language Pathology people did this a couple of years ago, and they had a great experience inviting many or maybe even all the people in their department to pray for each other, and meet once a month. They said it brought everyone closer together, and was a good counter to the strong competitive aspect of their department and their studies. It created great relationships.
Serve with a student group or student government. UGGS is the grad student council, and that would be one example. I know they want department representatives so if people are interested they could try to find out if their department doesn’t already have one. I would also suggest students join and serve on leadership in a student chapter of a professional organization. This advances your career, but if you really get into it I bet it is a great service to other students, and a good way to build relationships. A preprofessional organization that focuses on service, like Engineers Without Borders, would really fit.
Serve on department committees (some departments have students serve on things like this, and some don’t).