On Sept. 7, volunteers across Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin came together to support Xcel Energy's annual Day of Service, and the impact of this single morning of volunteering will reverberate for years to come.
More than 5,400 volunteers contributed 21,000 volunteer hours at 130 nonprofit projects, which resulted in an economic impact of over $500,000.
For many of the participating nonprofits, Day of Service is integral to their organizations as it provides additional leadership and funding as well as volunteer recruitment.
"Day of Service is one of the highlights of our volunteer year," said Beth Nobles, executive director of the Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership in Denver. "We've focused Day of Service projects on one place to make a maximum impact, and all that energy and support has made a difference."
From schools, food banks and animal shelters to parks, trails and gardens, there was a project for all ages and abilities. Here are just a few of the highlights of the day:
- Packed more than 160,000 meals at Colorado Feeding Kids
- Made 550 blankets for Denver Health newborns
- Assembled more than 5,700 hygiene kits, 5,000 yellow ribbons and 27,000 pounds of food to support veterans
- Restored countless miles of trails, parks and open spaces
- Installed 84 smoke detector alarms
- Packaged 10,000 diapers and 7,000 packages of baby wipes
- Planted several pollinator nursery plots
In addition to the communities and nonprofit organizations, Day of Service makes a difference in the lives of volunteers, too.
"Day of Service helped my wife and I instill the importance of volunteering and helping others because not everyone has the same quality of life that we experience," said Peter Narog, an Xcel Energy employee who volunteers at Day of Service with his family every year. "We’ve seen our sons appreciate and support volunteering more as they've grown up, and we believe getting them involved in Day of Service when they were young started them on this path."
Dozens of volunteers cleared weeds at Dodge Nature Center, an environmental education organization and nature preserve in West St. Paul, Minnesota.
About Xcel Energy’s Day of Service
Xcel Energy started Day of Service nine years ago to honor and remember the victims, survivors and first responders of 9/11. What began with a few hundred volunteers and a handful of nonprofit partners has become the company’s single-largest volunteer effort – and it continues to grow every year. Nearly a thousand more employees, customers and community members joined this year’s event compared to last year.
"Day of Service is one way Xcel Energy embodies our value of being connected to our communities. It is rooted in the core of our culture and empowers us to work together to help others," said Daniel Venegas, customer and community relations specialist for Xcel Energy.
This year, Day of Service expanded its reach by inviting customers in the Upper Midwest to participate, making this day even more impactful.
More than 50 volunteers sorted clothing, backpacks and other donated goods at A Precious Child in Broomfield, Colorado.
"Opening up Day of Service to the public was a great opportunity for our company to volunteer alongside the people we serve, while making a tremendous impact on dozens of nonprofit organizations," said Sam Holsen, Xcel Energy social investments representative.
In addition to Day of Service activities, Xcel Energy volunteers in New Mexico and Wisconsin also recently supported United Way’s Day of Caring efforts.
Thank you to everyone who helped make Day of Service a success! See more photos and videos from Day of Service on Instagram.