What a heart, our Heartland Has

I had never seen so many working ladders in one room!

How many people does it take to transform two public schools in just a couple weeks time? 100s I can tell you. It takes a lot of time, talent, planning and most of all MONEY to make the most positive impact on a public school imaginable.

From the playground to the driveway from the gym to the classrooms the painting and dry walling, all transforming a dingy old tired school into a haven of brightness and shine! You would have to see it for yourself to believe that it could happen so remarkably. I’m proud to have been even the tiniest part of such an undertaking. I will not soon forget the experience of seeing a church come together to help out a public school. One that likely few members of the church even attend. But that is not important, however. What IS important is the impact that those upgrades can make on the youngest, most vulnerable members of the Rockford community. Heartland Church of Rockford, Illinois spends two weeks each summer changing lives in the public sector. The elementary children that can be easily forgotten in a town that has been stricken with some of the highest unemployment rates in the state. A school that sits fairly closely to the crime capital of the town but a school now that those children can be proud to attend in the fall. It’s a place that they can look forward to carrying their backpacks into. They may not know who Heartland church is but they will know that somewhere a lot of regular folks came in and made their school a really nice place to learn.

They may never know that folks came from as far away as Oregon to help with the project or that some people were injured or that some took time off from their real jobs to be a part of their success story but the children will know deep down that someone somewhere cares about them. When they look at new books in their new library or swing on a freshly painted swing, it will make them smile inside.

Heartland Church, YOU Rock!

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Thirty One Days

It’s been 31 days since we became hotel residents in northern Illinois. We have learned our way around, made peace with the tight accommodations and have chosen a favorite restaurant. We have found a church home away from home.  I’m on a first name basis with Manuel, Hernan, Kyle, Jennifer, Stephanie and Judy.I know where they hide the remote for the fitness room and what day the Culligan Man brings the salt for the water softener. I can whip up a full course meal in my little kitchen and have found a close by grocery that  provides drive up loading!
Tomorrow I will try out a new hairdresser. Courage….it just takes some courage.