Table Mound

Oct 03, 2023 | Jan Ooms

Dubuque is truly a ‘Masterpiece on the Mississippi.’ This is the city’s slogan, and it fits! This is a great mid-west city which was a delight for the Impact Cares team to visit and work in. Chartered in 1837, Dubuque was settled four decades earlier and is one of the oldest settlements west of the Mississippi river. With that long history comes some great people. While they certainly haven’t lived there ‘that long,’ there are many great people in Table Mound who have lived in the community for a long time. This translates into a community that is friends, folks who help their neighbors and are willing to jump in and help wherever is they are needed.

Impact Cares was privileged to visit this community and was able to reconnect with old friends and make several new ones. We had a great turnout both in terms of volunteers, residents and staff coming out to help make this project day a huge success. We had a total of 51 volunteers which meant we were able to accomplish a lot of work in a short time. From a biker club to a local church, from the local fire department to residents, people came out of the proverbial woodwork to pitch in and help.

One resident who is a cancer survivor told Tory, one of the Impact Cares staff members, "I've been gifted more days, and I'm going to use them to help the people around me." And she does! Every morning she gets up at 4 am to go cook for the homeless of Dubuque. She brings food to the residents in Table Mound who need it and always has a big laugh and smile ready for everyone. It is amazing how folks like that can bring joy despite their own challenges and make a community a place others want to live in!

The Dubuque Fire Department and the Police came out to our event. The fire department was especially helpful, providing tables and chairs for our meals. That show of support for a community goes a long way to infuse a community with a sense of belonging, a sense of ‘home.’ These are the type of folks who understand and live out the slogan, ‘Masterpiece of the Mississippi.’ It is one person, one department, one community, one resident at a time that begins to add up to make a community what it is, and Table Mound is one of those special places.

Let’s meet some of those residents. After a contentious start, one resident said to his neighbor, "Just talk to them. They actually listen and care." That will surely make your day! Another resident said to David, ‘Thank you David for listening.’ Again, that sort of encouragement makes you want to ‘listen’ even more. It seems ironic that what folks want more than anything, in fact, I think what all of us want more than anything is for someone else to acknowledge us, to listen to us, to take notice of us. That is something all of us can do for one another and yet, so often, we simply do not take the time to do what is easiest and the most difficult at the same time. Just taking the time to listen to your neighbor, to be ‘interrupted’ is hard because way too often we are under the mistaken belief that what I’m ‘doing’ is more important than the person standing right there besides me.

Listening is an art, but if we set our minds to do so, we, like the city of Dubuque, can be ‘Masterpieces’ that others will love to come and see and spend time with!

View Project