Our Denver team recently had the pleasure of taking part in the B of Service volunteer event at DeLaney Community Farm, a partnership between Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) and Project Worthmore (PWM). This sustainable, organic farm is in Aurora, Colorado, with a primary mission to feed and employ refugees in that community. Partnering with B Local Colorado to volunteer at this event, we joined DeLaney Community Farm in supporting the diverse set of people in our surrounding community, specifically refugees.

volunteering-at-delaney-community-farmDenver Wordbankers at DeLaney Community Farm: Jenna, Katie, Michelle, Toriya, Mack, Angela and Greg (left to right)

About DeLaney Community Farm

DeLaney Community Farm was first established in 1997 by DUG and the city of Aurora. The farm has “[served] public CSA members, families from Women, Infants and Children (WIC), refugees from PWM, interns, apprentices and farmers,” but by the end of 2016, DeLaney created a formal partnership with PWM to shift the main focus to better supporting the refugee community in Aurora through sustainable agriculture and community building.

With 158 acres of open land, DeLaney Community Farm raises a range of organic produce from cucumbers and tomatoes, to squash and lettuce. Refugees are given the resources, education and training required to grow organic produce for themselves and the community, all while being connected with the local food economy and learning sustainable agriculture methods. Besides distributing food to refugees and community members, the farm also sells fresh produce to local Denver restaurants, such as City, O’ City, Mercury Cafe and Annette at the Stanley Marketplace.

Helping out on the Farm

As part of the B Local Colorado network, it’s always exciting and meaningful for us to volunteer at B of Service events that positively impact a variety of local communities. While our previous volunteer events have supported the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood in Denver and the food-insecure community in Boulder County, this one focused on serving the refugee population in Aurora.

Our team started the day learning about DeLaney’s farm and mission, as well as meeting the refugees working on the farm who led us in some morning stretches before dividing us into different teams. We had so much fun being out in the sun, pulling overgrown weeds and harvesting and sorting a variety of squash and pumpkins.

pulling-weeds-at-delaney-community-farmHard at work pulling overgrown weeds in the fields

wordbankers-volunteeringWordbankers Jenna, Mack and Greg (left to right)

Connecting on Values

B Corp: Using Business As a Force for Good

As a Best for Colorado Honoree and an aspiring B Corp, our goal is to become a fully certified B Corp. Part of our commitment to becoming B Corp certified is being actively involved in the community and participating in the movement of using business as a force for good. Certified B Corps strive to “meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability,” and we can’t think of a better cause.

Serving at DeLaney Community Farm and supporting its mission connects with our values in many ways. Besides encouraging volunteering and charitable giving, DeLaney focuses on supporting diversity, practicing environmentally friendly farming methods and promoting health, happiness and well-being.

Volunteering & Charitable Giving Program

DeLaney Community Farm relies heavily on daily volunteers since it is not self-sustaining. Therefore, organizations like these benefit greatly from any help possible. Leveraging our Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program, several of our people were not only able but encouraged to volunteer and support this local cause. Company-wide volunteer events like these are just one option; our VTO program also supports personal volunteer time for a cause of choice. Our ultimate goal is to volunteer at least 80 business hours across personal and company-wide events in 2018.

Diversity

DeLaney Community Farm’s mission to support the local refugee community in Aurora by providing them nourishing, organic foods straight from the garden and co-laboring with employed refugees on the farm is truly inspiring. Feeding and employing this diverse group of refugees helps give them access to economic opportunity and stability, community, education, resources and an overall higher quality of life.

Environmental Philosophy

We believe in the practice of sustainable agriculture through organic farming methods. Not only does DeLaney provide refugees and the local community healthy, organic foods, but it also educates its refugee farmers on sustainable agriculture practices that are environmentally responsible. The farm also provides fresh, local and organic produce to the Greater Denver community by selling directly to various restaurants. In return, this brings in some income to help support the farm’s operations.

Health, Happiness & Well-Being

Our volunteering program promotes a culture of happiness and a sense of connectedness with the local community for our people, while supporting people in need. B of Service events, like this one at DeLaney Community Farm, help build awareness of local causes that we can get involved in to make a positive difference.

Final Thought

Our efforts to volunteer through our VTO program is an ongoing commitment. This year we have already volunteered a total of 79 business hours. As part of our goal to become B Corp certified, we recently attended the B Corp Champions Retreat 2018 conference in New Orleans to connect with a network of like-minded businesses and learn different ways we can support the movement of business as a force for good.