Leading the Welcoming Committee

Frank Anello and Project Worthmore bring refugees into our hearts, as well as our borders.

Frank Anello and his wife, Carolyn, co-founded Project Worthmore. Frank Anello serves as the Executive Director. Project Worthmore is a Denver-based 501(c)3 that welcomes refugees from Burma and other countries, and helps them find their way in a new, sometimes overwhelming society.

Frank Anello is an endurance athlete. He runs. A lot. There’s no distance, no vast path, that intimidates Frank. He sees the challenge laid out before him, digs deep and sets his faith against the odds. That method has never failed Frank Anello. Believing is everything.

Frank Anello turned toward faith, and at a church service, he first met a group of people from Burma. The encounter, chance as it was, altered Frank’s life forever. Hearing the stories of struggle and ostracization in the community from the Burmese refugees set his adrenaline-seeking brain to a new, incredible goal. He would spend the rest of his life making the community more inclusive and welcoming, and ending the impoverishment that keeps some of our country’s newest residents from the opportunity to succeed.

The idea for Project Worthmore was born in that experience, but at it’s core, Frank Anello’s passion for community is predicated on something much older: The Golden Rule. Treat our neighbors, no matter where they’re from, or what they’ve experienced, as we would want to be treated, and the world becomes a better place. It’s a simple concept, but the execution takes a lasting commitment… perfect for a long-distance runner who loves big, lasting challenges.

Frank would claim that his true gift is in gathering like-minded folks together to serve. And while that’s definitely true, it’s not the whole story. Frank Anello brings a pack of runners, each of whom’s finish line looks like a more inclusive, warm, and loving community. Then he leads them, pacing them, offering encouragement, sustenance, guidance, and whenever necessary, a set of shoulders to lean on.

By Frank’s example, a big world with a lot of borders and fears becomes smaller, more closely knit, and more loving. He’s running long and hard to put an end to poverty and to welcome Burmese refugees into the Denver community. There is nothing that can stand in his way. After all, when a runner hits the wall, he takes a deep breath and breaks right through it.