Mar 04, 2021 | Jan Ooms

Feb. 27, Pasadena, TX, Wichita

Pasadena, famous for the ‘Tournament of Roses’? Well, yes but not Pasadena, Texas. This Pasadena was famous for its strawberry blossoms and was actually named after Pasadena, CA! After the Galveston hurricane of 1900, Clara Barton of the American Red Cross, purchased 1½ million, yes, ‘million’ strawberry plants for the local farmers. Pasadena was quickly transformed by all those millions of little ‘vines’ reaching everywhere and turning Pasadena, Texas into a strawberry capital of the region. Much has changed since those early days but the ‘vines’ of a lot of people are still reaching out and transforming the community of Wichita where Impact Cares was privileged to be for a few weeks during February.

The project day came amidst a grueling week of cold weather, not typical for so far south. Many were impacted by this cold snap with no electric, frozen pipes and not being able to get out much. Yet, in spite of these challenges, this community showed up to pitch in and help.

Just consider the variety of great people who came out to help. A number of residents, many who work long hours at their own jobs showed up to help. At first we thought volunteers, or lack of, would be an obstacle but those who came proved themselves by going above and beyond the call of duty. A group of young women from a nearby sorority came and were amazing! They painted homes, pitched in wherever needed and parted having made a huge impact. One of those young women made friends with a resident who was a former Texas Ranger. She learned a part of her own history which she hadn’t known before and once again, the ‘vines’ of relationships were expanded.

Another resident, a hard-working tough lady was brought to tears! Now, one never knows if that is good or bad, but in this case, it was great! She works hard, saves and then fixes her home as she is able. Recently she had been ‘taken’ by someone who over charged her for repairs on her roof. The Impact Cares team offered to help her with a few small repairs she needed done. One team member reported, ‘She just sat down and cried. I asked why she was crying. She said, “No one has ever done this for me before. I try to keep up my home as best as I can, but this would help me out greatly! I will pray for your team every day!”’ Here is a case of not only those ‘vines’ being extended but being planted in fertile soil and yielding ‘blossoms’ almost instantly! It is always great to see the ‘impact’ that Impact Cares can and does have on a community.

From the sorority girls to the cleaning lady to the former Ranger, to the older resident who started taking the skirting off her home because ‘she had to do something’, Wichita is a community filled with people who love where they live, (except for the cold snap J). These folks are willing to pitch in and help out their neighbors, beautify the homes and build relationships. Some neighbors met each other for the first time on the project day and ended up having a great time together, laughing and becoming friends. When you think about it, it really doesn’t take much to plant a ‘vine’ and see it spread rapidly. In the fertile soil of Pasadena, these ‘vines’ grow quickly and not only are the bonds in the community strengthened and deepened, but the resulting ‘blossoms’ of smiles and tears testify to the impact one can have in a few short days!

Have you thought about planting some ‘vines’ of your own and seeing the ‘blossoms’ bloom?