Our Neighbors, Ourselves
Now in its fourth year, “Our Neighbors, Ourselves” is Project Worthmore’s biggest annual fundraiser. Monies raised help to develop and strengthen critical programs that welcome and support many of Denver’s 3000 refugees from war-torn countries including Burma, Somalia, Sudan, Congo, Nepal and others. Project Worthmore works hands-on to improve the quality of life of local refugees by providing welcome care and community support programs. PWM started in 2011 as a makeshift response to the unmet needs of our refugee neighbors and today operates out of a 1200 square foot space on East Colfax, where it organizes over 200 volunteers and serves over 500 refugees monthly. Services PWM provides include ESL classes, family partnerships, food access, transportation assistance, welcome care and dental services. Most recently, Project Worthmore is creating a support system called Careholder, which will allow a newly arrived refugee to successfully transition to becoming a self-sufficient resident.
“I recently visited a newly arrived refugee family from Burma with several young children. Although our circumstances were worlds apart and we spoke no common language, the warmth and love was clearly present among them. I left with a sense that we all belong to each other, regardless of the different paths we’ve taken.” – PWM volunteer
About Project Worthmore
Project Worthmore (PWM) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the quality of life of Denver-area refugees by providing welcome care and community support. Started by Frank and Carolyn Anello in early 2011, PWM began as a makeshift response to the unmet needs of our refugee neighbors. Through prior experience as part of a small group working with a refugee family from Burma, the Anellos were familiar with the vast needs in this community. Be it teaching use of public transportation, registering children for school, going grocery shopping, and/or teaching English, there was always more that could be done but not always enough people to help do it. Abandoning the needs of this community was not an option, particularly when surrounded by such abundance and resources to help ameliorate these problems. Increasing awareness of the existence of our refugee neighbors and their needs was an initial priority. Fundraising, recruiting teams from churches and schools, gathering and distributing donations, setting up apartments for newly arrived refugee families and coordinating family partnership teams all eventually became a part of this organization.
As PWM continues its work, it is the Anello’s hope that more people will become an active part of this movement that has bettered the lives of all those involved.