Maple City Health Care needed a new roof. We invited donors, neighbors, and patients to help.
A hodgepodge of people responded. Some spoke Spanish. Some spoke English with an Appalachian twang. Some spoke Pennsylvania Dutch. It could be another Tower of Babel, but we all seemed to understand each other enough to get rafters aligned (more or less) and shingles nailed.
By 3:00 in the afternoon, the project leaders were tired and wanted to respect the time and energy of the volunteers. The roof was 80% finished which was 80% more than we had dreamed possible, so we called it a day – but our volunteers wouldn’t. They continued working until the roof was finished.
As darkness fell and we celebrated the roof’s completion, we realized that more than the roof had been changed. Some of the neighborhood volunteers became patients. All of the patients who helped with the roof became donors of their time. The donors who helped with the roof now feel part of the neighborhood.
Ten years later, one of the men who helped replace the roof, was inside the Center as a patient. As he walked through the hall, he proudly pointed skyward and announced to all within earshot, “I put on the roof. This is my building.”
Maple City Health Care Center is a home -- a place where people belong, a haven, an environment that nourishes health.