Volunteer opportunities abound in Highlands Ranch

Area groups hold signups at volunteer fair

The Highlands Ranch Community Association Volunteer Fair April 24 will feature 40 different nonprofit organizations and last year hosted 300 volunteers to-be. File photo
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April is National Volunteer Month, and in Highlands Ranch there is no shortage of opportunities to pitch in.

There may be no bigger chance to volunteer than at the fifth annual Highlands Ranch Community Association Volunteer Fair, coming up April 24.

The free fair has more than doubled in size since its first year in 2009, and will have 40 nonprofit organizations on hand, each looking to sign up volunteers. Last year more than 300 future volunteers showed at the event.

Whether it is signing up to guide people on tours for the Denver Botanic Gardens, help out with horses at Zuma’s Rescue Ranch, volunteer for the American Cancer Society or work at the Women’s Crisis and Outreach Center, HRCA spokeswoman Jamie Noebel points out there is something for just about everybody.

“I can’t imagine someone would not be able to find a way to volunteer with one of these organizations because the list is just so diverse,” she said. “It’s pretty awesome.”

The fair will take place from 5-7 p.m. April 24 at Southridge Recreation Center, 4800 McArthur Ranch Road in Highlands Ranch, and most organizations will be signing up volunteers on the spot. To see a complete list of nonprofits, go to www.hrcaonline.org.

For those looking for a short-term, yet still impactful, commitment, the HRCA is also partnering with Cherry Hills Community Church from 1-3 p.m. May 5 for the fourth annual Love in Action Event, held around Highlands Ranch, Castle Rock and Sedalia.

The event offers opportunities to do everything from working in yards for those in need, beautifying parks and schools, doing handyman work and offering electronic recycling.

“We know what our community needs on a lot of different levels, and the church helps get a lot of people out,” Noebel said, “from walking the streets and picking up trash to doing prayer walking. It’s all about community. It’s an amazing day.”

To register for the event go to http://chcc.org/love_in_action.aspx.

Volunteer with the Metro District

People are invited to gather at Dad Clark Park, Falcon Park and Paintbrush Park from 9 a.m.-noon on April 20 for the eighth annual Highlands Ranch Metro District Renew the Ranch, where they will be given trash bags to clean up open space.

The event drew 100 participants last year and has added a geocache aspect this year, so people can search for treasures while doing the community a service.

For other volunteer opportunities through the Metro District, one can refer to the 2013 volunteer guide, posted at www.highlandsranch.org. There will also be a wetland planting on April 17, and another one sometime in early May, in which 25 or more volunteers will assist in protecting storm water areas.

To participate in any of the above Metro District projects, please contact Stacy Simonet at 720-240-4909 or ssimonet@highlandsranch.org. The Metro District will also have representatives present at the HRCA Volunteer Fair.