Impacting communities, caring for individuals, 2022 proved to be another banner year for Impact Cares! From the Republic of Texas to the great state of North Carolina, from the cowboys’ state of Wyoming to the Rocky Mountains, Impact Cares was able to impact communities and care for individuals throughout this great country of ours this past year.
Starting in southern Texas and ending up at home base in Cedaredge, Colorado, the Impact Cares team put on literally thousands of miles and brought tens of thousands of smiles to a cross-section of America! We were able to travel to a total of 14 different projects in a number of states. While 14 sounds like a ‘small’ number, you would need to multiply that number by the tens and hundreds of lives that were touched to get close to the total number of those impacted this past year. Each one of those 14 communities was unique in their own ways. Some were small, some large, yet each made up of folks with a variety of gifts and needs.
Part of the vision of Impact Cares is to invite others to serve alongside us in the communities we visit. This past year, we had the great honor and privilege of having almost 550 volunteers give of their time and effort to help impact and bless those they came into contact with. Those volunteers came from a variety of places, from youth groups to local churches to school clubs to individuals, all desiring just to come and be a part of blessing others and giving of themselves to see a community improved and thriving. With that many volunteers, it is easy to see the concentric circles growing ever wider of the number of individuals impacted during the year. Above and beyond the hundreds of outside volunteers, we had close to a 100 volunteers from within the various communities as well. These are ‘neighbors’ who came out to help within their own community to give of their time to pour into their own neighborhood. These are the folks who just want to help those closest to them and are seeing a need and want to be a part of the solution!
One of the highlights of every project is the ‘Community Dinner.’ This is one night set aside while Impact Cares is onsite for the community to come together, sit down and have a meal with their neighbors. During this past year, we were able to serve over 700 people a meal with their neighbors. Over the years, these dinners have served as a spark for many people to get to know their neighbors who may have lived nearby but who they have never met. From these small beginnings, friendships have been forges that are still going strong today. Bringing folks together over a meal is a really simply way of meeting people, of forging new friendships and creating avenues for people to help their neighbors.
2022 also proved to be a productive year! Impact Cares was able to make improvements on over 415 homes! While it is clear that the ‘bricks and mortar’ are certainly not the central point of what we do, the ‘brick and mortar’ do provide the on-ramp for what is most important, this material ‘stuff’ gives us ways to positively impact the people, the individuals themselves. These improvements do translate into a whole host of ways which serve to enhance and help a number of folks. These improvements, totaling over 850 included everything from replacing skirting, to power-washing, to painting, to trimming trees, to building decks, to replacing steps and building ramps. From the mainly outside projects, we were also able to do a couple of interior ‘make-overs’ for some who desperately needed help.
Time alone would prevent us beginning to tell the stories of those impacted this past year. From the volunteers who came, to the residents helped, tears and ‘thank-you’ have become the hall-mark of being in any one community. From the single-mom’s to the elderly living alone dealing with health issues, ‘thank-you’ again was the word of the year. From the disabled vets who were encouraged and an encouragement to us, we encountered folks in many different walks of life. We came across those who blessed others and who were a blessing to pour into. The Apostle Paul, quoting Jesus said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ (Acts 20:35). How true this is! This past year, from the old to the young, from the healthy to the struggling, again and again, Impact Cares was able to bless and be a blessing to literally countless thousands who hopefully will go on to bless others. Like a pebble in a pond, the circles of influence continue to swirl and be felt.
Thank you to all the communities who loved on us, to all the residents and volunteers who came out to help, to the vendors who gave of their gifts and materials, to the entire team at Impact Cares for a wonderful year!
May you have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year as together we look forward to 2023!