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Jeff Rummer
with Boulder County Cares
by Chris McCloskey

Jeff Rummer describes his volunteer efforts like this, "I'm a guy who started a blanket gathering program." In reality, those blankets have saved lives. Rummer has worked in concert with Boulder County Cares (BCC), the mobile branch of the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. BCC volunteers drive to known sites where the homeless gather on cold nights and pass out blankets to those who choose not to, or can't, get to the shelter. As well, when people are turned away from the shelter due to overcrowding or alcohol use, they are given blankets.

During college, Rummer was involved with a homeless ministry in New York City and later in Chattanooga. When he moved to Boulder, he was able to see the need for change and become involved. "However," he added, "the real heroes are those at the shelter every night."

Two years ago, Rummer was associated with a church involved in the blanket collection. The church has since closed, but rather than severe his connection with this effort, he took it upon himself to single-handedly promote this cause. He accepted the responsibility to coordinate and run the Blanket Gathering Roundup Event. He simply explained, "I couldn't say no." As a result, they have collected over 1000 blankets. He said, "I was blown away by the community support."

By utilizing his professional skills at networking and writing press releases, Rummer was able to more than double the impact. This success was very timely since the number of homeless in Boulder has increased by more than 150%. Starbucks, among other collection points, have been instrumental in responding to Rummer's appeal.

"It's satisfying knowing one person can make so much difference. Many people feel helpless, thinking What can I do? But everyone can do something."

For information about volunteering with Boulder County Cares or other agencies, call the Volunteer Connection at 303-444-4904.

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