Three Arizona churches contributed more than fifty volunteers to help clean up the homes in their community.
Juan Ixtabalan, Kevin Hasper, and Shelley Turner
Palm Lane Christian Reformed Church in Scottsdale, its tenant congregation, Igesia Cristiana Nuevo Pacto, and Maranatha CRC in Mesa are on their fifth project since December and have no plans to slow down.
Dennis Mulder, a retired CRC pastor and elder at Palm Lane, said that they love going out with DRS (a disaster response service of the Christian Reformed Church), but that they can only participate two or three times a year because of time and distance. So they decided to volunteer locally as well. “[We] decided to bring Christ’s love to the City of Scottsdale in a very concrete way,” he said.
Operation Fix It: Neighbors Helping Neighbors is a Scottsdale program that teams volunteers and local businesses to provide labor and materials to help eligible residents maintain their properties and avoid code enforcement penalties. The program serves over 50 residents annually with approximately 1,200 volunteers.
Ida May Via, 92, received extensive landscape and exterior clean-up work from Palm Lane’s volunteers on January 19. “Their work is wonderful,” she said. “They said they would do everything. My doctor, family and friends don’t want me out there with my walker, because of my history of falls.”
Michelle Bruce, program manager of Operation Fix It, said, “This group surprises and amazes me every time. Almost every resident has said they can’t believe the heartfelt attitude and energy of these older, sweet, endearing people. The residents are shocked at these seniors as there is nothing they can’t do. They have no problem managing the tasks and they have exceeded expectations. They are phenomenal.”