March 26, 2022, Live Oaks, Lockhart, Texas
‘He’s all hat and no cattle,’ is an old Texas proverb. Well, here in Lockhart, that is SO not true. These are folks with hats and cattle to boot! When these Texans show up, the community comes out and work gets done!
Lockhart was our last Texas project for 2022 and it was great! With some 70 volunteers coming, we accomplished enough to make Texas proud! We had folks coming from churches, one with a team called ‘Meet the Needs’ and so they did. Another church group came from Dallas, leaving at 4 AM to get there and was among the last to leave – these are people with Texas size hearts for sure! A nursing group came and worked with the kids from the community and had a great time. Once again, we had several staff people come from other regions to pitch in and help. Together, all of these are people who ‘get it,’ understand the importance of what Impact Cares is all about and how they are able to impact, encourage and build up the communities they visit.
With tears in his eyes, "I just want her to get better," said one resident of his spouse struggling with cancer. Yet, if you think about it, isn’t that the cry of each one of us when it comes to our own families and communities? We see the brokenness, the weakness and our hearts long for a change, a turn toward something ‘better.’ So what will it take for that ‘dream,’ that ‘longing,’ to come true? Just what it took in the community of Live Oaks in Lockhart. The Impact Cares team put their heads together and there and then decided we can do something! We can’t fix everything, we can’t fix the cancer, but we can do something and so they did. Putting their ideas into action they ended up completely residing and painting these dear people’s home within a week. After it was all done, the spouse who is struggling noted with tears, “I never dreamed I would live in such a beautiful place!” Does she still have cancer? Yes. Has her burden been lifted, even if ever so slightly? Yes, as well. In so many ways, this is what Impact Cares is all about. Having eyes wide open to the brokenness around them in not only homes and yards and the ‘stuff’ of life but also seeing the people behind that marred picture and being willing to step in and do something, even in small ways, is to bring hope, encouragement and a brighter tomorrow for all who live in these communities.
Another example of how this works. One resident, having been in a severe car accident with over a dozen broken bones, was simply not as mobile as she used to be. With steep steps coming into her home, she was not about to get out much which left her being homebound most of the time. So what to do? This one was easy as far as that goes. Impact Cares came and removed her old steps and built her a new deck with a ramp which she is now able to easily navigate with a walker. ‘You’ve changed my life and given me freedom again,’ said this resident. That small ‘something’ opened up the door for one person to gain a new measure of physical freedom and hope for the days ahead.
Texas is a BIG state, but it is also filled with people with big and generous hearts. Upon receiving her new deck and ramp, this grateful lady wanted to give back in whatever way she could. So for the community dinner, while unable to attend herself, she did make a dish to pass for others to enjoy. Again, this stuff isn’t ‘rocket science’ as the saying goes. The church groups label says it all, ‘Meet the Needs.’ Today, even if you’re not in ‘Texas’ you too can have both ‘hat and cattle,’ just by seeing a need and meeting it head on.
Russ Ooms on behalf of Impact Caress