Valley View

Dec 06, 2023 | Jan Ooms

Kearney, originally known as ‘Kearny Junction,’ often known as the ‘Midway City,’ is where Impact Cares was able to be for its last project of the year. Observant readers will note the change in spelling and name from the original. The ‘e’ was added most likely due to a post office worker adding it in the 1870’s and somewhere along the line, the ‘Junction’ was dropped.

Today, Kearney remains a junction of sorts and a midway city of sorts as well. When Impact Cares came, we were not sure what to expect. There had been some negative reports coming out of Valley View on social media but to our pleasant surprise, those reports turned out not to be true. This is a community filled with some great people who care about their neighbors. We also had some great volunteers come, even some contractors came with some of their workers to help improve this community. We ended up with over 45 volunteers and we were able to accomplish much, despite the rainy weather.

Kearney proved to be a junction when it came to the weather. We had beautiful, sunny weather in the low 80’s and then cold down to the teens! There was sunny weather forecast for project day and then early on Saturday morning it started to rain, which didn’t let up until early afternoon. The volunteers who came worked right through the less than desirable weather and with big smiles, kept going!

Kearney was a junction of a different sort as well. As I noted earlier, we really were not sure what we would run into when we came. Upon arrival, we had positive experiences from start to finish. Residents recommended others who could use some help. As with all our projects, we accomplished much but there was always more to do. What made our time fun was the little things we were able to do for the residents.

Have you ever noticed how the little things can become the ‘big things’ that people remember? While power-washing the deck we noticed the outside spigot was leaking a lot. Without much effort, we were able to repair this. Another home had a bit of skirting that needed repair – this too was taken care of without any fanfare. Several residents pitched in to help on project day, some doing some fixing, some pitching in with the community meal. Others came out to encourage each other, have coffee with their neighbors and pitch in where they could to improve someone else’s home. We also noted that not all see life this way. Some want to focus on the negative and while that is their prerogative, it certainly cannot be a nice way to live. In case you haven’t noticed, we are all broken people, living with other broken people, which means the places we live in are broken as well. With that being true, we all have a choice to make, every day. We can choose to focus on that, or we can make a choice to look for the good, not only in our communities but also in those around us. Those choices will often determine our outlook and lead to a joyful heart, or one filled with stress and disappointment.

From Nebraska to Ohio, from Iowa to Pennsylvania, from Texas to South Carolina, 2023 proved to be another banner year for impact Cares! We had the awesome privilege of coming alongside a number of communities, meeting some amazing people and being able to assist in improving a score of homes. As we look forward to 2024, we would like to encourage you, wherever you live, to reach out to your neighbors, invite them over for coffee, learn their stories and become that person that others look to when they need a word of encouragement. During 2023, Impact Cares had the opportunity to partner with a host of volunteers and residents to see lives changed, homes improved, and communities strengthened.

As we come to the end of this year, we would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Closing out another season, let us remember that ‘Jesus is the Reason for the Season!’

View Project