Giving back is good for you. And 7Everyday Hero Frances Balbin is living proof.
She said putting others first changed her life, and the lives of so many others.
For the last six years, Balbin has found joy at a food bank that feeds the soul called the Restoration Outreach Programs (R.O.P.) Food Bank.
"I didn't used to be a happy-go-lucky person. I didn't!" she said. "Until I started coming here I was a very discouraged person."
The R.O.P. Food Bank serves the East Colfax community.
"It is just an enjoyment to be down here, working and knowing you're helping someone else," Balbin said.
Food Bank Director Tish Freeman said the food bank services between 95 and 100 people each week and provides about 8,000 pounds of food a month.
The food bank allows the R.O.P. to help people with a host of other programs, including a program dedicated to those who speak English as a second language. Other programs include work readiness, landing jobs and more, said Executive Director Kent Scroggs.
In 2017, the R.O.P. served 5,000 people in one way or another, he said.
"I was a drug addict for a very long time," Freeman said. "We just became a family, really."
Balbin said the family of volunteers reminded her of something she learned as a child: To put others first.
"I was just raised that way," she said. "That is why I do it."
Balbin is retiring, but the R.O.P. will continue to transform lives with other dedicated volunteers.
To learn more about Restoration Outreach Programs, visit www.restorationoutreachprograms.org.
Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Mitch on Facebook here and Twitter here. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.