Making a Difference in Southeastern Colorado
Judy Ramirez has a pro bono offer to fill out the arduous nonprofit tax exemption application which surely would draw more donations to her Lean on Me House project.
But she isn’t sure she wants to take it.
Judy is driven to make a difference. She is driven to make a difference herself.
Judy has help from the community to prepare the Lean on Me House for use. She gratefully accepts it; but she dreams of the day when she can pay all the expenses herself.
Her vision for a house that is a haven for folks who are experiencing illness, at risk pregnancy, or the need for a place to sleep while ministering in our small community originated when her own family needed a similar house and is driven by her desire to make a difference.
Judy knows firsthand of the need for the Lean on Me House. Judy’s father worked hard to provide for his family. Work related injuries led to major health challenges.
Judy remembers going with her family when her mother visited him in the hospital. The options for Judy and her siblings often were uncomfortable. Hot parks. Boring waiting rooms. And the desire for a retreat for other families with similar needs was born.
The Lean on Me House is named for her father’s favorite song and is in memory of him. A shelf in the living room holds a 45 record of the song Lean on Me. Judy says that the lyrics of Lean on Me truly state the purpose of her house.
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on
The Lean on Me House in La Junta, Colorado is a work in progress. A bathroom and three bedrooms are completed – beautifully. The kitchen, another bathroom, living room area are functional but still waiting for the transformation that Judy has planned.
Still, Judy has a drawer of thank you’s from folks who have already benefitted from the house. The original use has expanded. A group of men with the Mennonite church, nuns from the Catholic church on missions and needing a place to stay; a married couple needing a time of short separation to make their commitment to each other work; and soon a man on hospice care. Judy envisions serving women in preterm labor who live out of town; families with babies who have the need to be close to the hospital.
What should you do after reading this post? I don’t know! Here is what she needs:
- Skilled labor – painting, plumbing, etc.
- Towels, toiletries
- Cleaning supplies
- Laundry supplies
- Give on Go Fund Me
- Pray for Judy and those who stay at Lean on Me House