Dec 14, 2022 | Jan Ooms

A ‘Halloween’ project day! With those few words, one would expect it to have been a dark, dreary, scary type of day in this community. But no, just the opposite! We had lots of volunteers who came; full of joy and with great attitudes to make this a day to remember, a day of laughter, fun, and many improvements being made to the community of Westlake.

One volunteer noted, “I’m really impressed with everyone’s dedication, ethic, and engagement, a very fulfilling and informative day, thank you for letting me join.” This is what I would call a ‘win-win!’ Not only were 55 improvements made to a number of homes, but the impact on those who came to help was lasting as well. Another volunteer noted, “I can tell you this for sure, every one of those (Impact Care team members) is a top shelf worker! They all have great attitudes, fun to work with, and they work their butts off!” Again, a great encouragement and compliment to the Impact Cares entire team – they are the ones who make Impact Cares what it is!

Westlake is a smaller community, yet one in which people are coming together to help their neighbors. As David, one of the Impact Cares team members noted, “It was a joy seeing so many happy, smiling faces. This is what Impact Cares strives for. We want residents to know their neighbors and love them as we do.” These community dinners form an integral part of this, bringing people together to just sit and have a meal together. Somehow over food, people will let down their guards, open up their hearts and find new friends, some living next door to them.

Westlake is a community filled with some amazing people. One resident, who has survived much abuse as a child and now lives with many physical challenges, is an amazing person. In spite of the past, her attitude in the present was wonderful. Determined to help those around her, she was awestruck when we were able to help her with the materials needed to get her roof sealed up. “I can't believe it...thank you, thank you, thank you so much!” was her response to Impact Cares helping her. It is always fun to see and hear from those we are able to bless. Helping folks with home repairs is but an ‘on-ramp’ to being able to bless them in a variety of ways.

Laurie, one of Impact Cares newest team members, noted this while working with the community kids during project day. “It was especially amazing to see their desire for a Story Bible and for a mother and her child to ask for a Spanish Bible.” Meeting folks in the community, spending time with them, hearing their stories, meeting their needs, putting on community dinners, all to serve the purpose of creating ‘on-ramps.’ These ‘on-ramps’ into the lives of those we meet allow us to bless them, to share life with them and above all, to demonstrate in a very real, tangible way the love of Christ for them.

As we come to the close of another fruitful year at Impact Cares, may you know the love of God for you as shown to us in Christ, who calls us to ‘Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28).