AmeriCorps Week: Why Do YOU Volunteer?

The RSVP Hospitality Café at the Marshall Fire Donation Distribution Center provides free meals and snacks to affected individuals.

Volunteer Karen Sutch has been an invaluable member of the RSVP Café Team, assisting with the Marshall Fire Response in Boulder County. The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is a program by AmeriCorps Seniors that matches older adults, aged 55 and better who are willing to help, with local organizations on the front lines of meeting community needs. The Broomfield, Colorado program, powered by Spark the Change, has the focus area of food insecurity.

We asked Karen why she choose to serve her community as an AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP Volunteer and to share a little about her experience assisting with the Marshall Fire Response. She said:

“As a volunteer for Spark the Change, I am entirely grateful for the opportunity to contribute and donate my time to assist the clients related to the Marshall Fire and South Boulder fire disaster. It just didn’t seem to be enough to donate material goods, monetary donations, etc. for this horrific event. Interacting with the people affected has been most rewarding.”

“I recall a young lady, I’m assuming pre-teen aged, that thanked me for doing what I was doing: being there for them, at the distribution center. I think of her often as it touched me so deeply. She, who has been through so much and experienced such loss and trauma, was thinking of ME! I don’t think that the memory of her gracious spirit will ever leave me, and I thank her, eternally. Such a beautiful soul and a lovely girl, thank you!”

“I’ve volunteered with different agencies, primarily related to injured wild animals, Birds of Prey, etc., but this experience; working with people; people that have suffered a horrendous tragedy such as this, has made me realize that I should work more with the members of the community.”

“I have positive energy that I need to share, and I can feel the love that they all have to give, too. From the leaders of all of the various organizations involved in this movement, and all of the wonderful volunteers, as well as the beautiful clients that we strive to assist and provide, at the very least, some positive energy, support, assistance, communication, friendship and some of the things that they need to carry on with their lives and take care of their precious loved ones.”

“It has been so encouraging to see the coherence and coordination of all of the local and even remote communities to pool resources to assist with the incredible needs of our affected families.”

“With all of the ugliness in the world today, it warms my heart and nourishes my soul to have the opportunity to spend time with some of the most strong and resilient, optimistic and grateful, beautiful and amazing members of our community. Thank you.”

-Karen Sutch

Thank YOU, Karen, for truly embodying what it means to be a Community Changemaker! Volunteers are vital to creating stronger, more resilient, equitable, and connected Colorado communities and together, anything is possible!

For more information on ways to help those affected by the Marshall Wildfires, visit For more information on the RSVP program and how to get connected in your county, visit

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