GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.

Mesa County non-profit and community leaders, in collaboration with the national service and bridge-building initiative, The Caravan, kick started the Mesa County Week of Service & Understanding event.

The event started Tuesday from 9 am to 1pm with a schedule of events including preparing and distributing lunches, or helping with the Discovery Garden at the Mesa County Central Library.

Members of the community are encouraged to sign up to volunteer to help feed the hungry, plant a garden, or cleanup litter along the banks of the Colorado River with organizations including: Mutual Aid Partners, Catholic Outreach, and the Colorado River Cleanup.

Founder of The Caravan, Ben Caron says the vision of the nationwide event is to bring the community together for greater understanding and connection across differences. “The whole idea is that this country has become really polarized, and people are feeling really pulled apart from one another, and we believe through courageous conversations and bringing people together through community service that we can start to reweave our country back together again,” said Caron.

Stephania Vasconez is with Mutual Aid Partners, and for two years has been helping feed the hungry including on Tuesday in the parking lot of the Mesa County Central Library location. “There’s multiple things that we do,” said Vasconez. “If you go to the Mutual Aid website you can see everything we need help with, or you can just show up at 9 in the morning, and help us turn a parking lot into a resource center.”

The Week of Service & Understanding is a community lead effort of neighbors helping neighbors through June 3. To find out more, click here.