Arianne

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 02:22

Speakers Bureau Update

Sometimes the RPCVs of Colorado are contacted by community groups or schools looking for RPCVs to share about their service.  Please complete this form or e-mail your name, country of service and times that you are generally available to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  if you are interested in being contacted for speaking opportunities when they come up: http://goo.gl/forms/SQvSGcLOQs

If you are interested in having an RPCV come and speak at your event or school, complete this form or e-mail your request

to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

http://goo.gl/forms/qWavXIOWhX

At the 2015 Peace Corps Connect conference, Rep. Sam Farr (CA – District 20, Columbia 1964-66) asked that all Peace Corps supporters take action and advocate on behalf of Peace Corps. Rep. Farr challenged us all to become better advocates and to speak with elected officials about Peace Corps. His challenge included:

  • Connect with your member of congress via phone, email or during in person meetings. These methods all provide opportunities to ensure members of Congress understand why continued, robust funding for Peace Corps is critical.
  • Hold your elected officials accountable. Did you reach out to ask your Senator or Representative to vote in favor of particular legislation impacting Peace Corps? If they did vote in favor, follow up with them and say “thank you!” If they didn’t vote in favor, let them know that you’re disappointed they couldn’t support that particular legislation and you hope they’ll change their vote in the future.
  • Find a message style you are comfortable with. When sending calls to action, NPCA usually includes sample text. Use that text and make it your own. Rep. Farr provided examples ranging from the basic: “I was in the Peace Corps and it was the best experience I’ve ever had. It needs more money. I will be watching your vote.” To the more complex comparisons of spending for Peace Corps versus spending on other investments abroad or emphasizing that Peace Corps is about jobs and helping Americans work.
  • “Make the political system watch and listen to us”. Rep. Farr encouraged connecting with and responding to calls for action from the NPCA. He drew the comparison to the oft cited example of the advocacy power that the National Rifle Association (NRA) wields. With members scattered across the U.S. who are willing to be vocal about their beliefs, the NRA is able to send a call to action that results in thousands reaching out to Congress. Rep. Farr said that if the more than 240,000 PCVs and RPCVs, as well as families and friends, responded to calls to action in support of Peace Corps, this would rival the NRA’s advocacy power.

Interested in accepting Rep. Farr’s challenge? You’ll have a great opportunity this August! The RPCVs of Colorado are working to set up meetings with the Colorado congressional delegation. Colorado. Contact me, Suzanne Smith, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want to participate in or lead one of these meetings. Watch for notification of scheduled meetings on the RPCVs of Colorado website and let me know if you plan to join.

During Peace Corps Connect NPCA and Rep. Farr shared a few other updates:

  • President Obama’s budget request included $410 million for Peace Corps for FY2016, which is October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016. This would be an increase of $30 million over the current funding level.
  • The House Appropriations Committee is recommending level funding Peace Corps at just under $380 million, but the Senate Appropriations Committee could still support the President’s funding request. Advocates are encouraged to reach out to
  • NPCA is examining if it is possible to change the current non-competitive eligibility to five years or to allow for a delay in use.
  • A location for the Peace Corps commemorative has been found near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The design competition just closed and is being judged currently. According to Glenn Blumhorst, President of the NPCA, the goal is to choose a commemorative that “captures the ideas and spirt, the part of the American spirit…that brought us into service” and it is an opportunity to celebrate service, not just memorialize the impact of war or those who are now dead. Legislation for the commemorative passed last year.

Check out NPCA’s website for more information related to advocacy: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/advocacy/

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 02:20

It's Time to Garden!

The RPCVs of Colorado are actively maintaining our gardens in civic center park that will soon grow into fruits and vegetables for harvesting.

We need your help!  We typically meet on Wednesdays at 5:30, and make announcements through our  Facebook Group page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpcvcolorado/)

Gloves and tools will be provided.

This is the fifth year in a row that the RPCVs of Colorado is partnering with Grow Local Colorado to plant, maintain and harvest produce from two garden plots in Civic Center Park, located in the heart of Denver near the intersection of Colfax and Broadway. All produce from the two plots goes to the Gathering Place, a day shelter for women and their children who are experiencing homelessness and poverty. Due to the volunteer work of the RPCVs of Colorado, we’ve been able to donate 1,410 pounds of produce over the last four years. 

Saturday, 02 May 2015 01:20

Annual Meeting- Wednesday, May 20 7:00pm

Please join us on Wednesday, May 20 at 7pm for our annual meeting of 2015!  The RPCVs of Colorado will welcome the City and County of Denver’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Jerry Tinianow

Mayor Hancock's Office of Sustainability, led by Jerry Tinianow, addresses economic and community sustainability initiatives in order to help lead Denver toward greater security in an ever-changing global economy. As part of this effort, the office has established 2020 Sustainability Goals for the City and County of Denver, as well as the community-at-large in 12 resources areas, including: air quality, climate change, energy, food, health, housing, land use, materials, mobility, water quality and quantity, and workforce. Jerry will provide an overview of these goals, particularly related to those affecting our focus on food security, and answer questions.

Our May 20, 2015 meeting will also serve as our annual meeting for the year. Prior to Jerry's talk, we'll have a review of RPCVCO activities for the year and vote on new Board members.

 

Location:         DOWNING STREET GRILL

3090 DOWNING ST. DENVER, CO 80206

PARKING: LOCATED IN THE BACK

Wednesday, 07 January 2015 03:34

Treasurer Update

The RPCVs of Colorado continue to serve our communities both home and abroad through service projects and networking events.  We also continue to serve the communities of current Peace Corps Volunteers by funding grant requests to implement in their service.  As of the end of September of 2014, the RPCVCO financial accounts have the following balances:

General Operating Fund (for use in paying general operating expenses): $3,786.60

Don Curtis Fund (for use in funding projects): $4,391.19

Ski Trip Fund (for use in paying the deposit for the annual ski trip): $117.12

These funds added together indicate that the RPCVs of Colorado have a total of $8,294.91 in the group's checking account.

During the year there are a number of activities which draw on the General Operating Fund.  Here are a few of the changes we have made for the upcoming year (as approved by the Board of Directors in July, 2014)      

              1) Continue to have Welcome Home Dinners twice per year for newly returned volunteers as a way of connecting them with other returned volunteers.  We are grateful to the Welcome Wagon volunteers for offering their homes as venue for these events, and for accepting the Board approved reimbursements of up to $75 per dinner.  We know that you put so much more into these events than we can repay you for - - thank you!

              2) Action committees:  Last year the RPCVCO Board approved action committees for both the Welcome Wagon and the Social Committees.  The RPCVCO Board is happy to cover the cost of the group members' coffee during these meetings as they plan events a few times a year.

              3) End of year garden supervisor party - The RPCVs of Colorado continue to collaborate with Grow Local Colorado and community volunteer groups to maintain a vegetable garden in Civic Center park.  The vegetables from the garden are donated to the Gathering Place, Denver's only daytime drop-in center for women, children and transgender individuals who are experiencing poverty or homelessness.  This annual thank you party for the garden supervisors asks a maximum of $150 from the general operating fund.  Thank you volunteers!  You can learn more about Grow Local Colorado and The Gathering Place by visiting their websites at http://www.growlocalcolorado.org/and http://www.tgpdenver.org/

            4) Country Night: The RPCVCO regular meetings highlight a country or region of service a few times throughout the year.  Once again, we are grateful for RPCVs who assist in presenting and preparing a small taste of the food from the country or region being highlighted.  These meetings, which take place 4 times a year, result in a maximum of $100 total expense from the General Operating Fund as reimbursements for the food cost. 

The Don Curtis Fund is used to provide funds to currently serving Peace Corps Volunteers so they can better implement their projects.  The money from our annual calendar sales contributes to this fund, as do the specified generous donations of our group members, and the fund has continued to grow from year to year.  Help us to spend these funds by letting any currently serving PCVs know they can request funds from the RPCVCO group for their overseas projects by applying for a grant on our website: http://www.rpcvcolorado.org/index.php/activities/don-curtis-fund/grant-application.  The RPCVCO Board is grateful to be able to support the currently serving volunteers in this way.

The Ski Trip is expanding!  Due to popular demand this year's annual ski trip will now have 2 cabins instead of one!  This means that more RPCVs and families are able to celebrate together over this fun weekend at YMCA of the Rockies.  This activity continues to be a self-sustaining activity with the RPCVCO Ski Trip Fund acting as a holding place or pass through account so we can pay the following year's deposit to YMCA of the Rockies in a timely manner prior to collecting the funds from the participants.  Details about this year's ski trip are included in this newsletter.

Questions about this year's Board approved budget, or about the financial cost of any specific RPCVCO activity, can be directed to Brian Palmeri, RPCVCO Board This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Wednesday, 07 January 2015 03:33

Be a Judge for World Affairs Challenge

Each year dozens of local teachers and professionals join us at the World Affairs Challenge as judges.  Their role is essential to the success of the WAC in meeting our goal of fostering life long learners.  Judges don’t only grade team presentations and collaborative questions. They end up learning a lot themselves!

Based on your feedback over the past several years, input from community judges, universities, and global companies, we have made some important changes:

The judging criteria for WAC will be modified to focus more heavily on rewarding 21st Century Skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, cultural awareness, and communication, all essential skills for tomorrow’s workers and leaders.

New judging criteria will be added to recognize the diversity of presentations, providing a more level judging field.

As always, serving as a judge is a purely voluntary effort. There is no registration cost. Coffee, breakfast, and lunch are complimentary. Judges will have the opportunity to spend the day interacting with fellow community leaders and volunteers, local NGOs, and our future leaders and problem solvers!

Judges must be available to stay for all of the judging portions of the event (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Judges are strongly encouraged to attend judge training:

February 5th and 9th, 2015
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
At the Posner Center for International Development 
1031 33rd Street, Denver CO 80205 

To sign up, visit the World Affairs Challenge website here:  http://www.worldaffairschallenge.org/become-a-judge

Wednesday, 07 January 2015 03:31

January Advocacy Update

On Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, President Obama signed the appropriations bill to fund most the government for the remained of fiscal year (FY) 2015, which goes until Sept. 1, 2015. Congress will still need to pass a final appropriations bill for Homeland Security, which will operate under a continuing resolution till Feb. 27, 2015. The final appropriation bill signed by President Obama for FY2015 totals $1.1 trillion and includes funding for Peace Corps.

Along with funding for Peace Corps, the passage of the appropriations bill included corrective language to implement the provisions set forth in the Peace Corps Equity Act (S. 2291; H.R. 4578). The Peace Corps Equity Act is designed to support female Peace Corps Volunteers in the same manner as other individuals serving overseas, by supporting the PCV if she seeks to terminate a pregnancy in the rare instances of rape, incest or life endangerment. The National Peace Corps Association (NCPA) has been leading efforts to pass the Peace Corp Equity Act for two years, which also had the support of the Peace Corps agency and the Obama administration. More information can be found in this NPCA press release. Supporters of Peace Corps are encouraged to send a thank you to members of Congress who led efforts to pass the Peace Corps Equity. Information on how to send these thank you messages can be found here.

Now that funding for Peace Corps for FY2015 has been secured, the focus will turn to advocating for increased funding for Peace Corps in FY2016. Supporters of Peace Corps can participate in these advocacy efforts by responding to any calls to action from the NPCA. As well, the National Day of Advocacy is Thursday, March 5, 2015, and is an opportunity for individuals to come together to meet with members of Congress in person to talk about the importance of Peace Corps and request continued and robust funding for Peace Corps. Unable to fly to Washington, D.C., to participate in person? Advocates can still participate on March 5 by emailing and calling members of Congress. More information on all of NPCA’s advocacy work can be found at: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/advocacy/.

Wednesday, 07 January 2015 03:29

Share the Love- Serve Meals on Valentine's Day

The RPCV's of CO continue our tradition of spreading a little love on Valentine's Day. Last year, over 30 people donated their time and energy to prepare and serve meals for those in need. This year, we'll be volunteering for 7 shifts in Denver and Fort Collins; there's no better way to spend a day dedicated to love!


Denver Rescue Mission- Lawrence Street Shelter

Homeless men find a safe haven at the Lawrence Street Shelter, where over 300 warm beds await. A shower and hot meals are also offered for relief and comfort. Those who stay the night at the Lawrence Street Shelter also have the opportunity to seek help in recovery programs. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old. Anyone under 18 needs an adult chaperone. You will assist with serving breakfast and dinner for this emergency facility.

Location:

1130 Park Avenue West

Denver, CO 80216

Breakfast Meal Service  
5:00am-7:30am
8 volunteers needed

Dinner Meal Prep

4:40pm-6:00pm

5 volunteers needed


The Crossing

The Crossing is a residential community providing long-term rehabilitation and transitional housing to individuals and families who desire to achieve a life of self-sufficiency and community contribution. Men, women and children caught in the cycle of poverty and homelessness are referred by various shelters and social service agencies, or seek out The Crossing independently. Volunteers must be at least 10 years old. Anyone under 18 needs an adult chaperone. You will be helping prepare and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Location:

6090 Smith Road

Denver, CO 80216

Breakfast Meal Service 

5:45am-7:30am
8 volunteers needed

Lunch Meal Service
10:30am-1:30pm
5 volunteers needed

Dinner Meal Service

5:00pm-7:30pm

3 volunteers needed


Fort Collins Rescue Mission

In November 2012, the Denver Rescue Mission opened a facility in Ft. Collins. This facility provides beds for up to 75 homeless men and women. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age. You will spend the afternoon helping their chef put together the evening meal, cleaning or organizing projects or serving dinner.

Location:

316 Jefferson Street

Fort Collins, CO 80524

Kitchen Help

1:00pm-4:00pm

1 volunteer needed

Dinner Meal Service

4:30pm-6:30pm

3 volunteers needed

If you're interested in volunteering, please contact Casey Burnette, Service Project Chair, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please respond with the name of the shift, time, location and full names of those volunteering. More information will be sent to you about parking, dress code and guidelines for working your shift. 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 18:29

Did you Serve in the Eastern Caribbean?

Would you like to share about your country of service?

Did you serve in the Eastern Caribbean?

Do you enjoy public speaking and/ or cooking for others?

If you answered yes to these questions then the RPCVs of Colorado are asking for your help!  Every few months a portion of our regular meeting is dedicated to sharing some information about (and eating to food of) one of the Peace Corps regions of the world.  The Eastern Caribbean post will be highlighted on Wednesday, November 19th, and we are looking to dive into the culture, music, food, traditions, history, geography, economics - whatever excites you - about the islands of the Eastern Caribbean.  Of course you can also throw in your favorite story or memory from your service!  If you are interested in preparing and presenting a 5-8 minute portion of the information on one or more of the Eastern Caribbean islands, - or if you'd like to prepare a small sample of island food for fellow members to try out - please contact Brian Palmeri at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  

For those not interested in helping out, but would like to learn more about the EC post, be sure to come to the next regular meeting on Wednesday, November 19th at 7:00 PM.  We'll be meeting at the First Unitarian Society - 1400 Lafayette Street, Denver, CO 80218.  If you do, you'll be sure to walk out having a greater sense of what it's like to serve in a country 1/6 the size of the state of Delaware.

Thursday, 10 July 2014 15:54

Ethiopian Collection For Sale

ETHIOPIAN RPCV COLLECTION

AVAILABLE FOR SALE

Gloria Curtis, Ethiopia 1963-65, has inherited a large collection of Ethiopian artifacts, artwork, and cultural items from a former Peace Corps Volunteer who served 50 years ago.  These items are to be sold or auctioned to generate funds to support worthwhile Ethiopian projects.  Gloria & Don have photographed all pieces with some descriptions and measurements.  There is a variety of baskets, clay pots, clothing, charcoal drawings, a goatskin map of Ethiopia, a goatskin baby carrier, ceremonial shield, spear points, olive wood candlesticks, etc.   If anyone is interested in seeing photos via e-mail attachments, or in person at our Denver home – call 303-422-3742 or e-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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