Sep 01, 2020 | Jan Ooms

Lakeview, a great community in a great place! Situated in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, home of the annual EAA AirVenture show, this community is teems with life and flies high! It was this community that Impact Cares team was able to bless leading up to the final project day in Wisconsin on August 15th.

During the week, the team met numerous residents, had some volunteers come from a local church, residents from another community and other Impact staff all converged to build, paint, trim, clean, encourage and bless this community. When it was all said and done, the Impact Cares team with volunteers was able to accomplish 81 various improvements on 32 homes! Let me share some stories from the week.

One resident, a retired construction worker and truck driver who helps a lot of folks around the community struggles with a bad back. He had back surgery while we were there and was told that in a few years he may be restricted to a wheelchair. With that in mind, the Impact Cares team and volunteers had the privilege of building him a deck with a ramp so his home will be prepared for his coming needs.

How does one deal with ‘cranky’ neighbors? ‘Kill-‘em-with-kindness’ the old saying goes and so it was. One resident who wanted nothing to do with us, in fact he did not even want us on his porch or in his neighborhood. This ‘attitude-challenged’ resident ended up with a completely changed attitude. After watching us work, helping out his neighbors, the interaction the Impact Cares team was having with those around him, this ‘cranky, needing a huge dose of kindness’ neighbor started entering into conversations, showing off his own artistic skills with a variety of things he has painted. By the time the Impact Cares team was ready to leave, you could hear his laugh down the street as he was helping paint neighbor’s homes. It is always encouraging to see the change that can come to a person simply by loving on them!

Converting an old picnic table to a deck and finally into a birdhouse is a story that needs telling! A ‘Grandma’ of the community who loves on the neighborhood kids needed help with her deck which was falling apart. The kids took pieces from an old picnic table and ‘fixed’ up ‘Grandma’s’ deck. When the Impact Cares team came, they were able to completely rebuild her deck and then took the old picnic table pieces from her deck and held a ‘bird house building party’ and put one in ‘Grandma’s’ yard. It was fabulous to see the work the kids had done to help and see their ‘legacy’ live on in the form of a birdhouse!

Impact Cares was able to bless one of the residents whose family had actually farmed the original property before developing it into the community it is today. Simply by trimming back some overgrown bushes the team was able to bless this long-time resident. Imagine living in the same place for 75 years! He blesses Lakeview by giving rides as needed and some friendly encouragement when needed as well.

These and other stories added up to a great week in a great place serving a great community!

Once again, GO Impact Cares!