It started with a desk.
When Indian Hills resident Rachel Osgood and her son, Joseph, were volunteering with the International Rescue Commission, the organization was struggling to find a desk for a family the organization was helping move into a new home.
The Osgoods reached out online to see if anyone in the mountain community had a desk they were willing to donate, and the response was overwhelming. This got the mother-son duo thinking.
“It’s a 40-minute drive to the IRC office down in Denver, so it’s really out of the way,” said Joseph, a junior at Lakewood High School. “We thought it could be more convenient to do something up (in the mountains).”
So, WHYHO was born. It stands for We Help You Help Others, and is a budding nonprofit that Rachel and Joseph started a month ago. The organization takes furniture donated by the community and delivers it to the homes of families in need, many of whom are Afghan refugees.
“It really does make me feel great. You can see that these people are struggling, and they have had their whole lives reset to nothing because of the war,” Osgood said.
A variety of organizations have come together to make this nonprofit possible. Golden Real Estate loans out its moving truck to nonprofits, which enables WHYHO to make large deliveries, and the Osgoods work with the IRC and African Community Center (ACC) to find families in need.
Recently, the Osgoods and a group of friends made their largest furniture delivery yet, with a set of furniture donated by a family in Evergreen. They picked up the furniture, delivered it to an Afghanistan refugee family, and helped the family set it up in their home.
“They’d just gotten settled in Colorado, but they didn’t have any furniture, so they were sleeping on the floor,” Osgood said. “We brought beds and tables and mirrors, everything you need in a house.”
For the Osgoods, this is only the beginning. They are in the process of getting a nonprofit license for their organization, as well as buying a trailer, so they can move furniture more easily and frequently.
“I think volunteering gives teenagers a great perspective on life and allows us to apply our free time and skills,” Joseph said. “I can’t do a whole lot as a high schooler, but I can drive a car, and I can move, and I can manage social media and text people, and that allows me to change people’s lives.”
Joseph encourages others who want to get involved with his organization, or other community service opportunities, to reach out. Those with furniture to donate can contact WHYHO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This has made me more grateful for what I have,” Joseph said. “Seeing these huge families barely getting by, and having their whole lives reset, really makes me able to appreciate being born here and being well off.”