LOCAL PEOPLE'S LIVES TOUCHED BY UNITED WAY FUNDING
STORY SUBMITTED BY TOM BLACKEAGLE, VOLUNTEER CHORES SERVICE PROGRAM COORDINATOR
There was a call from an elderly woman who had desperation in her voice. I could hear mild sobbing as she explained her predicament. In recent years, in order to keep her in her home, her youngest son had helped her with everything—gathering firewood, yard care, home repairs, transportation and shopping. But tragically, her son had recently been killed in a car accident.
Alone and afraid, with no other family in the area, she explained that she uses a walker within the house and when out in public her son would assist her with a wheelchair. He had planned to build a ramp for her, but it never got built. Now she had a doctor’s appointment and was concerned she’d have to miss it. While she could get a ride from a neighbor, getting down her three porch steps was difficult and dangerous in her condition. She said: “My knees just don’t work anymore and I cannot afford to pay a contractor to build a ramp on my fixed income. Can you help someone like me?"
A VCS “jack of all trades” volunteer was called. Within a week, a 20 foot ramp with handrails was installed. Fortunately, a local contractor had donated some excess materials to VCS just a week before; otherwise the material costs would have been out of pocket and nearly out of reach. How thankful we are for those who see the needs of others and give.
The volunteer also split and hauled wood to the porch and promised to return to tend to her yard this summer. He was rewarded with some milk & warm cookies!
COPY OF AN EMAIL FROM A CASA VOLUNTEER - SUBMITTED BY SUSAN ERICKSON, CASA OF THE GORGE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Here is the report where I actually get to say: ADOPTION HAS BEEN FINALIZED!
This is such an understated way to proclaim an enormous, life changing event. This has been a goal for a very long time (7 years in the court system due to an out-of-state father in jail who contested every step).
There have been many, many small steps toward this goal. More importantly these small steps have been taken by a boy who landed in my arms as a baby and now is very much developing a sense of his own stride with "forever" (adoptive) parents who love him. Compared to what this boy has been through and what he has overcome, my part seems small. I do feel honored to have played a role in helping ensure his safety and in finding a loving, permanent home. The bottom line is simple: this journey has been 96.4% of my CASA kid's life. It has only been 13.1% of mine. And....my stride is a bit larger than his!
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