JEWISHcolorado Volunteers at Boulder JCC
The view of the mountains was particularly beautiful as I drove over the hill on Highway 36 toward Boulder. The wind billowed through the car, and I let my music blast as I amped myself up for a day of preparing meals for victims of the Marshall Fires. It was the perfect Colorado day, and I couldn’t wait to discover what was in store.
I parked at the Boulder JCC, and, after being greeted by security, I met up with Ben, our Director of Annual Campaigns, and we headed inside to meet our team.
Shari, Miche, and Amy of the Boulder JCC guided us to the kitchen and explained the process for the day. The work was to be broken into two parts: Miche would handle the sweet side with a classic ginger cookie recipe while Amy would tackle the savory side; a delicious vegetarian curry stew. The volunteers would move between both, helping with each step as assigned. I quickly found myself alongside Amy, the “savory” one, measuring out ingredients and manning the large vats of what was soon to be curry stew. Every time I looked up from stirring the pots, more team members appeared in the small kitchen. Eventually, the group of “chefs” had become a staff, all calling out to each other, relaying what they were working on and asking what they needed to do next.
Our squad powered through each recipe, stirring, mixing, kneading, and pouring, ensuring that each meal was handled with care. Despite the demanding work, everyone was in high spirits, and the energy in the room swirled around us. We closed out the kitchen to cheers and ample expressions of gratitude from all sides.
For me, volunteering in Boulder reinforced why I chose to join this organization: to help those in need and create safe spaces for Jewish people and anyone looking for a place to feel welcome. It felt amazing to get my hands dirty and produce something that would have a positive impact on the community. I was and am incredibly grateful to be part of this rewarding experience.