April 17, 2021, Garfield Estates, Grand Junction, CO
Grand Junction, a place where two great rivers flow together, the Gunnison and the Colorado. Grand Junction, a place of great weather, stunning beauty and a place where great people join together! Garfield Estates proved to be a place where people came together, shoulder to shoulder, from many different walks of life and from different places to build, paint, stain, encourage, grieve with and bless one community.
At the head of it all was Impact Cares doing ‘the stuff!’ Volunteers came from a number of local churches to a local college. We had volunteers join in the ‘Junction’ from faraway places such as Dallas, Houston and New Mexico. We had volunteers from our extended Impact family come to gather on one day and just bless one community and what a blessing it was.
As Impact Cares heads into communities, you never know what lies in store for the week. As communities are still trying to dig out from the impact of Covid, we find residents both concerned about coming out and residents who are excited to get outdoors. Sometimes it takes a bit to ‘break the ice’ so to speak (although that doesn’t really apply in western Colorado J), but once we did, not only did the volunteers join together but many of the residents did as well. We had residents offering the use of a trailer and truck to haul garbage away. Another resident brought a bunch of pizza for the volunteers. Another offered the use of a radial arm saw for building decks. It is always a treat to see people join in and help their neighbors and their community!
It is also amazing to see what happens when people gather together for a common purpose. One resident spends her time working with veterans helping them find a doctor when needed. She has not been out much during the last year, felt a bit isolated, and was not so sure about getting outside with others. Once she did though, she was able to get to know some of her neighbors, many around her age and be a part of blessing her own community while she was blessed with a new deck.
Another resident knew she needed a new deck and had actually worked on finding someone to build it for her. When the team from Impact Cares came and told her they would build her a new deck at no charge, for her at least, it was one of those ‘sounds-to-good-to-be-true’ kind of things. She called her kids, who warned her, ‘there must be a catch!’ Once the new deck was done, needless to say, she was overjoyed! She took pictures and sent them to her kids as a testimony to them of what God can do. Who would have thought that building a deck could be an encouragement to others to walk more closely with the Lord!
Garfield Estates was also a place for the team at Impact Cares to walk alongside some who were deeply struggling. One older resident who is blind was in the process of putting his wife in hospice knowing she would not be coming back home. His daughter along with the volunteers from Houston painted his house in colors his wife would have loved. Another resident had just lost a daughter in her early 30’s very unexpectedly. Impact Cares was able to come alongside, encourage bless and get her some flowers to help brighten their day. ‘Thank you for being so thoughtful,’ was the mother’s tear-filled response. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of being there for someone as they walk through the tough times of life.
Overall, Garfield proved, once again, that people helping others is always a recipe for success!
Russ Ooms on behalf of Impact Cares