DFM in the Community provides supported and organized opportunities for all members of Family Medicine to volunteer with a community-serving organization. We’ve pulled together the information about the Village Exchange Center (VEC) and all the ways we can support them on this webpage so you can feel connected to this fantastic community partner.
We have done the coordinating and information gathering for you, so all you need to do is sign up & show up!
This is a great way to learn about, and give back to, the communities we serve. It also is a fun way to spend time with your colleagues outside of the office!
Great News—Your time is covered!
Volunteering events and opportunities are below.
Can’t volunteer, but still want to support the Village Exchange? We have two great donation opportunities that you can contribute to. See below.
The Village Exchange Center (VEC) is a non-profit organization formed to serve immigrants and refugees in the Aurora/Denver metro area. As a community center and multi-faith worship space, they seek to celebrate cultural and religious diversity by creating an inclusive environment where community members from all backgrounds interact, share, and develop together. They offer youth and adult programs and services as well as cultural and multi-faith activities—both directly and through their partners.
The overarching goal is creating bridges between people and communities, both locally and globally.
VEC began as a concept in late 2016 when the faith community of St. Matthew Lutheran Church considered ways to be responsive to and serve its diversifying neighborhood and the City of Aurora. Aurora, a city of more than 20% immigrants and refugees, is among an increasing number of cities across the U.S. grappling with the challenges of welcoming the growing numbers of immigrant and refugee communities. VEC was co-founded by Amanda Blaurock, and her step-father, the Pastor of St. Matthew at the time, Marcel Narucki, who led the congregation to unanimously donate the building and grounds located at 1609 Havana Street in March 2017 for them to establish a community center that celebrated religious and cultural diversity. In the first two years of operations, VEC has become an anchor in the community for support and empowerment. They continue to activate the building and develop connections with and between the surrounding communities, the majority of whom are foreign-born.
VEC was the subject of short film that won the 2020 Cannes prize: ‘Jury Award for Best Documentary’ tells the story of a Lutheran church in northwest Aurora transitioning to the community center and multi-faith worship space for refugees and immigrants coming to Colorado to create a new life.
You can see the trailer for this 16-minute documentary by director Rob Shearer here: My Father's House - Teaser Trailer.
CBS Channel 4 Colorado report on this documentary can be viewed here: CBS CO My Father’s House Doc.
Please check out Family Medicine's Disrupting the Status Quo Blog. They recently did an excellent feature on VEC: Village Exchange Center by Mireya Davila!
A few things to know:
Communications Program Director