At 8 in the morning, on Saturday August 18th; 16 adults and 23 kids descended on Cherry Acres. People were broken down into crews to complete the project within the community, right before a splash of rain swept through.
It was incredible, as Cedaredge was facing extreme drought. Many of the locals had spent a good chunk of their summer waiting for good rain. As we watched the morning rain pour over the community, we wondered: Was this a sign of blessing or terrible luck?
We were determined to help to this community. A group of children went door to door passing out cookies. They also invited residents to a dinner while awaiting the rain to clear. New Hope Evangelical Church came out in force to volunteer. The pastor, elders, deacons, youth leaders and parents, all arrived with middle and high schoolers, joining them.
Once the rain subsided, crews hit the ground running. In the 7 hours Impact Cares had remaining; crews went to different homes. They did: yard work, tree trimming, small home repairs, painting and staining, ditch digging, porch building, and more. We ended up helping 18 different homes.
One crew of 4 adults and 8 kids spent their effort helping a woman named Sue. Sue is a single 70-year-old single parent, and adoptive mother of an 18-year-old young man with severe physical and developmental disabilities.
Her place looked tidy, with a small vegetable garden. She had hired some help to make some repairs inside her home, but the workers, unfortunately, didn’t finish the job. They took her money and never came back.
We stepped in and trimmed the bushes, raked, made repairs, painted her porch and two sheds. The porch had a ramp, and with a mixture of sand and paint, we were able to improve the traction on it in case of snow or rain. Sue was thrilled with all the work. She kept coming outside to talk with the kids as they worked. When her son was napping, she found a smaller roller and started painting with the crew. At the end of the day, several of the men helped her son, Lauren, into his wheelchair and transported him to dinner. Sue was incredibly grateful for all that was done for her.
Not only was it a beneficial day for the residents, many of the kids learned new skills working alongside adults. The kids learned: how to repair decks, how to paint, and more. The volunteers loved it! The residents loved seeing them work happily.
We had a couple that came to dinner with their eyes full of tears. Earlier that day, a crew had rebuilt their front porch and added fiberglass to the stairs on the back porch. The wife was so overcome with joy that she couldn’t talk.
At the end of the event, we had over 30 residents attending the dinner that evening. Many of the residents seemed genuinely excited, appreciative and hopeful. The 1st Impact Cares project was an encouragement to volunteers and to the residents of Cherry Acres!