Cherry Acres, the very name provokes a ‘Norman Rockwell’ type of scene. Its spring, the white cherry blossoms are out, the golden retriever bouncing through the orchards with kids playing in the background. This community and the greater community around proved to be an absolute joy to work in and around.
From beginning to end, Cherry Acres was a joy! The weather forecast called for rain which we thought would hinder the number of volunteers coming out to help, but in fact it seemed to do just the opposite. We ended up with 76 volunteers, from Impact employees, to the local FFA club to several local churches, all pitching in to make this a remarkable project. With this talented, get-it-done group, we were able to see improvements done on 23 homes with a total of 64 improvements being accomplished.
Some of those improvements were small, from staining a deck to cleaning up, to the much more involved and difficult improvements. Widening a doorway to make space for a wheelchair to go though, so that a resident could obtain the necessary knee surgery was one of those. Another was transforming some steps into a ramp so an elderly lady could get out of her house safely. Pouring a sidewalk so one wheelchair bound resident would be able to be taken outside and enjoy the beautiful, western Colorado mountain outdoors was another. From the small to the great, from the easy to the difficult, all the improvements are geared toward impacting the lives of those who call Cherry Acres home.
David, one of the Impact Cares team members noted that this community knows how to ‘think outward.’ He noted the difference in Cherry Acres how so many of the residents seemed to be aware of and engaged in looking after and taking care of their neighbors. Seeing neighbors bringing extra food to others, to knowing their neighbors to stepping in to help others, Cherry Acres excelled. Amazing how having a community that ‘thinks outward’ can make such a huge difference in the life of those who live there.
There is an old saying, ‘You need to stop and smell the roses.’ This sentiment was proven true a number of times during out time there. From beginning to end, we found ourselves spending time with folks just hearing their stories. Everyone has a story to tell, and when we take the time to stop and listen, we are reminded once again that this is what it is all about, helping people, hearing their stories, and finding ways to bless them.
One of the ways this happened was during the community dinner. One of the newer residents so enjoyed this time getting to know his new neighbors that he didn’t leave until way after it was over. He noted to one of the Impact team members that this meant a lot and he really appreciated it. Cherry Acres has a lot of amazing people who live there. From the elderly struggling with health issues yet with smiles and a willingness to share, to single moms who take care of children, to those who have lived here for decades to those who have just moved in, Cherry Acres is truly a great place, nestled in sight of the Grand Mesa, to live and flourish.