Natural Helpers

The Village Exchange Center is proud to now partner with the City of Aurora in celebration of its diverse and growing immigrant population. As the demand for immigrant services grows, the Natural Helpers Program fills a critical role in accessing those services. The Natural Helpers Program mobilizes a group of volunteers who are immigrants themselves to help other immigrants and refugees navigate life in a new country.

“Aurora is the only city in the state of Colorado and one of the few in the country with a comprehensive citywide strategy to address the issue of immigrant integration,” said Ricardo Gambetta, manager of the Office of International and Immigrant Affairs.

Through the Natural Helpers Program, immigrants gain access to resources such as social services, information on community organizations and networking for better job opportunities. The Natural Helpers Program is one of the innovative projects listed in the city of Aurora’s Immigrant Integration Plan.

The next session for new Natural Helpers will take place in summer 2022:

Saturdays: June 25, July 9 and July 15, 2022 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Click here to apply

Natural Helpers

VEC trains leaders from the immigrant and refugee communities to act as community navigators and information resources to their communities.

In 2021, VEC’s Natural Helpers contributed over 21,000 service hours across VEC programs:

  • Vaccine Equity Clinics:  30 Natural Helpers gave 16,500 service hours.  Impact: 3,200 shots administered, $80K in incentive funds awarded

  • Left Behind Workers Fund:  15 Natural Helpers gave 529 service hours. Impact: 269 individuals screened, $375K awarded to 250 people ans $226K in rental assistance awarded to 173 households

  • Low Wage Workers Fund:   15 Natural Helpers gave 300 service hours.  Impact $450K awarded to 300 people

  • Village Pantry:  17 Natural Helpers gave 1,700 service hours. Impact: 700+ families served weekly (6000 individuals/week, and 12,000 lbs of food distributed

  • Village Farm at Stanley: 6 Natural Helpers gave 2,392 service hours.  Impact: 2,400 lbs of produce harvested and distributed through the Village Pantry

    Overall Impact:  21,421 service hours. 10,000 people reached. $1,131,000 awarded