May 1st, Paradise Valley, Grand Junction, CO
Remember the old high school cheers? ‘Give me a ‘P’, Give me an ‘A’, Give me an ‘R’ and on it goes, until, ‘What’s that spell? ‘Paradise Valley!’ And that it is, not only in name but in spirit as well. From the residents to the volunteers, this project was the pinnacle of what Impact Cares is all about!
To start, we ended up with 145 total volunteers! That is a new record! We had volunteers from five different local churches, one FFA club and 32 from the community itself. Patti (DM from New Mexico) came with her team and we had 42 from both the Denver and Cedaredge office come out! Go Impact Communities! This was a great demonstration of what our ‘Culture of Caring’ looks like, fleshed out, boots on the ground.
A couple of stories that will highlight our time there. One lady, a single mom with a special needs daughter. How did she come to have this special daughter? Not in the usual way, that’s for sure! The hospital called her one day and asked her if she would come down. They had a baby who just had surgery and needed to be held, touched and loved on for a time. She came and held this baby for several days. She then told them she would adopt this baby and she did. Well, that was eleven years ago and what a joy this daughter is. She still has challenges but is confident, a leader among other kids, smiling all the time and helped us out with Camp Impact. She also excels at soccer as she whooped me (Tory) badly one day!
On project day, a dad came out to help with his young, maybe 6 year old daughter. She wasn’t so sure about the whole thing and wasn’t big on crowds. So that day the dad said they would help for a couple of hours. We found them a deck to stain and once they finished that, they were looking for another job. They ended up raking some yards and pitching in with some other groups. The little girl was busy cleaning up scraps, hauling wood and helping screw down some boards. The father said toward the end of the day, ‘Just look at her!’ Her smiles were worth more than any trip to Disney!
Another lady had just moved in to the community last year when Covid hit. Not only were they locked down then but later in the summer the fires hit in western Colorado and they were asked to stay inside again. She really began to wonder about why they moved here. On project day, she came out and was looking to get involved. She was sent to four homes with older ladies who need their windows washed. She was able to make new friends all the while being a blessing to her own community.
In so many ways, Impact Cares ends up having a much larger ‘impact’ than we could ever imagine! One resident ended up meeting the sister of her step brother whom she had never met before, just by being willing to come out and lend a helping hand. That’s the thing when you are willing to join in and be a part of this ‘culture of caring,’ you just never know how far and wide the impact will ultimately be!