October 2, 2021, Anderson MHC, Anderson, IN
Welcome to Anderson! The first of two communities in Anderson which Impact Cares had the privilege of joining with to encourage and bless and help as needed. We were able to accomplish around 74 improvements to a number of homes but those are simply the facts, they don’t tell the story. Let me share a few of the stories about what really makes a community, the people!
Let me introduce you to one resident, struggling with MS for several decades and is now wheelchair bound. Now if you were to listen to the cultural voices out there or watch the news about how everyone is a victim, then surely this lady fits the bill – but not so quick! This amazing lady stays active, doesn’t complain and is on the move, all the time, even in her chair. She takes ‘walks’ with her dog all the time and is a great encouragement to those she sees. Impact Cares was able to redo a ramp leading into her home, make it safer, less steep and more useable for her which was much appreciated.
Another story is of a resident who has challenges with some learning disabilities. Again, the world may say, ‘here’s a victim,’ however, he is living just the opposite. While working on remodeling his home he is intent on making sure everything is just so before moving on. Impact Cares was able to help with several improvements and even loaned him some tools so he could finish a bathroom he was in the midst of remodeling.
Let’s not forget the kids either! Again our culture almost screams at us that somehow almost all kids are victims of some sort. Not these kids! Do many come from troubled homes of one sort or another? Yes but these guys support each other, play together, make ‘super hero’ costumes and did some amazing sidewalk chalk drawings for the team while we were there. What a great group of kids who are learning, even at a young age, to support each other and that we need each other. Isn’t it funny how kids seem to know instinctively, which it really is, after all we were created for community, that we should not walk alone through life and that we need each other?
When Impact Cares comes into a community, one never quite knows what the response will be. Often people are a bit suspicious, wondering, ‘Why are you doing this, or, What do you want?’ Time often softens most of these hard attitudes and we are able to see positive attitudes break out all over the place. At Anderson, one of the longtime residents made the remark, “In all the 21 years I have lived here, no owner has ever done something like this.” Isn’t it good to know that just doing the right thing, you know, loving your neighbor can still bring smiles and encouragement to a lot of people? Impact Cares was in this community for a couple weeks after project day and it was great to see the continuing effects of being here. Neighbors were talking to neighbors they hadn’t previously met, neighbors were helping neighbors with projects on each other’s homes and the community was, well it was just being what it was, a community living together in challenging times.
I want to close by giving a ‘shout-out’ to Dale and Amy. This was their last project with Impact Cares as they prepare to open a new chapter in their lives. We want to thank them for all of their hard work, loving on people and giving of themselves during their time with us! Thank you Dale and Amy!
Russ Ooms on behalf of Impact Cares