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7Everyday Hero: Outstanding volunteer is helping students, families succeed

Story behind Joyful Journeys Community Enrichment
Posted: 8:25 AM, Sep 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-24 10:33:45-04

In our rapidly growing Colorado some families struggle to keep up. 7Everyday Hero Tasha VanMarter is trying to help them. 

VanMarter, a former probation officer, founded a nonprofit called Joyful Journeys Community Enrichment.

"It is an organization that helps out struggling families," she said. 

Joyful Journeys has a thrift shop to help raise money to help others. 

"I just think about some of the lives that they have, and the broken homes, the domestic violence, child abuse," she said. "No one deserves that. No one should go through that." 

Joyful Journeys provides clothing, food, and emergency supplies to those in need. But just as important: It takes a pro-active approach, which starts with a gym. 

"We have a sports program, we have cheerleading, dance, flag football, soccer, basketball. The idea behind it is that they can participate in things that their peers are participating in without their parents making six-figure incomes," VanMarter said. 

A computer lab and tutoring is also available, plus financial literacy courses and resume building classes. 

"She doesn't care how you got where you are, if you need help she wants to help you," said volunteer Kimberly Stack. 

Joyful Journeys helps an average of three families a week. About 5,000 Coloradans were helped in 2017 alone. 

"I love it," VanMarter said. "This is what I am supposed to do. Without a doubt, this is what I was put on Earth to do. So, it's not even a job — it is some much more than that."

It is not always easy work to help others, but as VanMarter can tell you, it is almost always rewarding. 

"I might not be able to change the world, but I can make a small impact while I am here and it's completely worth it every day," she said. 

The Joyful Journeys thrift shop, located at 6900 W. 117th Ave., Unit 400, Broomfield, is open to everybody. The building is near Main Street and 117th Avenue in Broomfield. 

To learn more, visit www.joyfuljourneyscommunityenrichment.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 .