‘Oh beautiful for spacious skies, . . for purple mountain majesties, . .’ so wrote Katherine Bates in 1893 after a climb up Pikes Peak. From a visiting Professor of English during a summer stay to a church organist in Newark, New Jersey a few years later, Colorado Springs has left an enormous fingerprint on American life ever since. From its beginnings as a town in 1871, Colorado Springs has been drawing gifted and graced people into its community, even today as you enter Sleepy Valley you will see it too is filled with such folks.
During the last week of May, Impact Cares was in this community and were made a part of the community from the start! Simply put, this is an amazing community of people! A few residents have a small food pantry from which they go to local stores and get donations, then come and hand out food to those in need on Sundays and anything left over is then given to a local homeless shelter. The Impact Cares team was able to help improve this place where many are blessed by cleaning, painting and sprucing it up so that it could be more of a blessing yet. From there the Impact Cares Team was able to ‘impact’ this community as they were ‘impacted’ back by the community itself. There were meals prepared for the volunteers, folks that offered to help, stories of endurance that were told and lived, making this a community filled with those who as Tim McGraw put it in his song, ‘Live like they were dyin’! In other words, this community lives like the best of what America is all about!
Some short snippets, just to give you an idea of some of these great folks who live in this ‘non-sleepy’ Sleepy Valley. There is a terminally ill mom with small kids, doing her best every day to find the good, teach her kids to have hope and is a survivor. ‘Live like you are dyin’, has a whole new meaning when you come across such courageous people.
From there we go to another resident, dealing with the effects of diabetes in the loss of both legs but still full of life, listening to music and being an encouragement to those around him. The team was able to improve his deck and ramp so he could be more mobile and get around with greater ease. This is certainly one of those special communities filled with great people!
The team that came to help consisted of Impact Cares present and even former team members, staff from the community and a local Christian group. Much was accomplished in spite of the challenges they faced which included rain, a driving wind and don’t forget all this included trying to work within the guidelines for the Covid-19 virus. With all that, the team was able to repair and improve several decks, replace and repair skirting around a number of homes, clean up some brush, paint and refurbish the food pantry and generally bring a lot of smiles and make new friends.
Russ Ooms on behalf of Impact Cares