Jul 07, 2022 | Jan Ooms

April 23, 2022, Vineyards, Clifton, CO

Built near local ‘cliffs’, Clifton has been around for a long time. With the local Post Office was established around 1900, Clifton has grown and is made up of some great, independent minded folks. At first glance, the Vineyards community may appear to be almost ‘too’ independent with many privacy fences in between homes. However, once you get past those, you will find a group of people who do deeply care for one another.

During our time there, we were able to have a significant impact and we were likewise impacted by those who we had the privilege of getting to know. Impact Cares was able to make 36 improvements to at least 16 of the homes in this community. Along with 24 volunteers, we built decks, painted, power-washed homes, and cleaned yards and did our best to encourage all we came into contact with.

"I can see the difference in this community. People are actually cleaning up their yards and taking more pride in their homes. Thank you David." This was the response of one resident after seeing the impact that Impact Cares was able to have on this community after just one week.

Allow me to share a couple stories about the great independent folks who make up the Vineyards community. One resident, who has lived in the community for over a decade, was recently diagnosed with MS. She intentionally walks to her mailbox every day to help stay active and keep moving. However, with MS setting in, her ‘walk’ looks more at times like a person trying to walk the white line after being stopped for drunk driving. Several times she has actually been met by the police who were called to investigate a person appearing to be drunk! When the officers show up, after briefly explaining the situation, they all have a good laugh together, and she keeps walking! Why does she do it? In her words, “To show myself I can still do it.” That takes a lot of determination and some ‘grit!’ We could all take a lesson from this dear lady on how to approach life when it throws us a curve.

Another resident who struggles with a degenerative disease which makes her mobility a challenge started crying when she came home and saw her, ‘New house!’ She struggles with steps so Impact Cares built her some ‘short steps’ stairs and painted her home. She was overjoyed at the new look and the willingness of others to come and help her with needed improvements. Once again, it’s not the grandiose things that change people’s lives but the little things that can have a huge impact for the better.

How would you respond if you knew you had a child who was going to need constant care for their entire life? Well, one single mom, while working to pay the bills, does just that and always with a big smile! While in conversation with her, she noted all the people in the community who could use some help, never mentioning her own situation. Here is a lady who never gives up, continues to care and has a great attitude while doing so. We need to hold up these ‘heroines’ and ‘heroes’ and learn from them and forget what the culture around us says is important.