West student engages in unique volunteer opportunity at 9th annual Weld Project Connect


Kathryn Broderius

Senior Simon Tesfaselassie serves salad at Weld Project Connect. The community service activity supported hundreds of less-fortunate community members.

Kathryn Broderius, Staff Writer

Senior Simon Tesfaselassie got the chance to volunteer alongside nearly two hundred others at a United Way sponsored event. Weld Project Connect is an annual event that provides a variety of services for anyone living in Weld County at no cost.  Services ranged in areas such as health care, personal hygiene, education, financial aid and even a municipal court which heard real cases.

While the actual event did not open to the public until noon, volunteers worked diligently months in advance and showed up early Friday morning to make it a success. The event was well received as nearly 800 people came through the door to receive services.

Tesfaselassie noted that, “I thought Weld Project Connect was great. It was cool seeing the community come together and help the less fortunate people of Greeley.”

The event would not be possible without the countless volunteers and service workers who took a day out of their lives to give back to the community. Tesfaselassie is a member of the Cache Bank Junior Board of trustees which is where he first found out about the opportunity from. In September, a worker from United Way came and presented to the board that brought to light the reality of how families make it month to month on a low-income budget. That activity really encouraged Tesfaselassie and other members of the group to get involved.

“I’m fortunate enough to have a roof over my head and food on the table. Some people don’t have that so it felt so good to help give back,” explained Tesfaselassie.

During the day Tesfaselassie stuffed bags, greeted people as they entered, served food for all people involved, including participants as well as volunteers, and even swept hair after haircuts were finished at that station. His favorite activity of the day, however, was serving food because of the personal interaction he got to have with others.

Overall, the experience was just as rewarding for Tesfaselassie as it was for any person who walked though the door to receive help.