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Wendy Bernard

Homeowner in Chiloquin, OR

My experience with Sierra Service Project is one of awe. Daily I wondered where I could turn for the help my husband and I were search of. We needed a ramp to make it easier for both of us to get in and out of our home, and I had run out of places to go. One day, I saw mention of SSP in the weekly newsletter for our small town of Chiloquin. After a couple years of waiting for those that were more in need than us to get work done, I filled out the application.

“They talked to us like we were old friends and listened to our stories.”

I was surprised when I got the call we had been chosen. I counted down the days, and I’ll admit I wasn’t sure what to expect. How would we be received by the workers? The day they arrived, I was so surprised at how warm and welcoming everyone was, all my concerns gone. It was as if family had come home to help me out. The volunteers were smiling, polite, and totally put me at ease.

They talked to us like we were old friends and listened to our stories. It had been a long time since I had seen that amount of dedication from young people. You could see the care and pride they had in their work. Their love and concern for us as individuals brought smiles to our faces. I would spend each day outside with them. I looked forward to their arrival every day, and when they left, it was as if my own children had returned to their homes.

“I wish they could have seen the day my husband came down the ramp, both arms in the air in victory in being able to leave the house without the pain of walking down steps.”

These young people went above and beyond. In return, I just had to do something for them, so I provided pitchers of lemonade, which they seemed to truly appreciate. They were a blessing and a bright light in the darkness that had become our battle for help.

They will forever be part of my heart and I wish they knew how much they mean to me. I wish they could have seen the day my husband came down the ramp, both arms in the air in victory in being able to leave the house without the pain of walking down steps, and the ease of me being able to do the same. We will never forget those who worked at our home and I hope in the future others will know the blessing of SSP’s work.

 

Editor’s Note: This article is featured in SSP’s 2018 Annual Newsletter; read all the stories written by youth volunteers, summer staff, and community members. Request a hard copy newsletter to be mailed to you.

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  • #YouthGroupHighlight! Thank you @sparkaumc for sending teams to serve in Chiloquin, Oregon for three previous summers, and again this year. Who has been to Chiloquin more than three times?
  • We love to see the end result of volunteers' hard work - finished projects! Last summer, 203 youth and 60 adults completed 15 projects for homeowners and community organizations in Chiloquin, OR. These included 2 ramps, 2 sets of stairs, and 2 fences. Join us in 2019 for our seventh consecutive summer serving in Chiloquin!
#volunteerSSP #SSP2k19 #ExploreBuildGrow #SSPchiloquin #BecauseYouthMatter
  • "The spirit walk location overlooks amazing views of the land, the lakes, all the way to the mountains on the other side. Being so high up, there is so much to take in. The scenery was so vast that every week of the summer I was able to discover something new." Read more from Chiloquin Spiritual Life Coordinator Caroline Hines - link in bio!

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