I first heard about Street’s Hope the week that I moved to Denver from a church I was visiting. Up to that point in my life, I had very little awareness of sex trafficking. Street’s Hope sounded like a good way to get involved in the community of a city that was new to me. I was drawn by the idea of actually getting to interact with and build relationships with the people that Street’s Hope worked with. I decided to give financially to Street’s Hope at that time too, because I value having personal relationships with the staff and clients and getting to see first-hand how an organization can faithfully and creatively use their resources.
Through volunteering at Street’s Hope, my eyes have been opened to a whole different side of our city that is easy to overlook and misunderstand. By spending time with the ladies and learning bits and pieces of their stories, I have come to gain an entirely new appreciation for the difficult places they are coming from and the strength that it takes to stick it out at a place like Street’s Hope. They help me to look at all the people in my life with greater compassion and to understand a world that is on one hand very different from my own, and on the other hand, very much the same. I hope that by being a consistent volunteer and friend to the ladies in the house, that in some small way it will help them be successful during their time in the program and afterward.
My favorite way to volunteer is by bringing dinner and a fun activity twice a month with a group of girls for “girls’ night.” Sharing a meal together is such a simple and biblical way to love people and get to know them. I feel truly blessed to regularly share dinner with the ladies of Street’s Hope and I truly believe the friendships created over these meals are just as valuable to me as they are to the ladies. Most of my favorite memories are the little moments when we are playing games or doing a craft after dinner and a client and a volunteer really connect. There are a lot of nights where we laugh so hard we cry, and then there are nights that are simply quiet conversation and encouragement.