EarthLinks is an innovative, urban nonprofit in Denver, Colorado, that provides a work program for people who are homeless and low-income to learn skills and create Earth-friendly products that sustain people and the planet. We are a community of people who are currently experiencing or who have previously known homelessness. Together, we care for each other and for Earth.
EarthLinks cultivates transformation and self-worth with people experiencing homelessness and poverty. By creating opportunities through Earth-centered programs, individuals step out of isolation and into the community – restoring each other and the planet. EarthLinks provides a work program for people who are homeless and low-income to learn skills and create Earth-friendly products that sustain the people and the planet. The main project is the EarthLinks Workshop Program, organic gardening, and craft-making opportunity. Participants receive an hourly stipend for their work of planting and tending the Peace Garden, then taking what they have harvested and creating beautiful craft products. The sales of these products – soaps, lotion bars, vases, candle holders, cards, bird feeders, bee boxes, catnip mice, hand warmers, jewelry, etc. -- go directly to support participant stipends. In addition to an earned income, participants gain a closer relationship with nature and a caring community providing support on the road to reaching individual and community goals.
How You Can Serve.
COVID-19 Update: Due to Covid this site will be able to accept limited volunteers. This site can accept 2 students. The work will be primarily in person, but may need to shift online based on current public health guidance. If so, a work plan can be developed between the student and their site supervisor.
At Earthlinks, you can get involved with various aspects of our care for earth and our care for each other. Chief roles will include serving as a craft workshop assistant and tending the garden. These activities will offer the most interaction with the participants if students are able to arrive during Workshop times on Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday mornings. Outside those hours, there is plenty to do with the garden including harvesting, drying, processing, composting, weeding, planting, etc. Other opportunities for learning the stages of various products might also be available including soap and other body product making, rain barrel painting, etc.
Characteristics in a student: Flexible, Creative, Personable, Outgoing, Initiative
Additional requirements/paperwork: Volunteer Application and Release, Hourly Tracking Form
Placement Availability: Preferred days for interns are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays from 8am-4pm (preference for 8am-noon specifically), but we will also accept folks Mondays and Fridays between 8am-4pm.
About the Sun Valley Neighborhood
In May 2013, light rail connected downtown Denver with Golden. The train will have a station in Sun Valley, the state's poorest neighborhood and a community isolated by industry, roadway, and river. Nearly all of the residents of Sun Valley live in the Sun Valley Homes housing projects and this makes Sun Valley unlike any neighborhood in Denver and unlike any housing project in the city. It is a community of children, single mothers, refugees, families who come and go and families who have long called Sun Valley home. For years, residents have complained they are the stepchildren of the city, overlooked and neglected. Over time, they have learned to fight to improve the neighborhood. The redevelopment of their neighborhood with the coming of light rail will be their biggest challenge yet.
For more information about the Sun Valley neighborhood, please see The Denver Post's Neighborhood Portrait for detailed description & statistics about the community there.