In this time of isolation, our physical distancing makes us more poignantly aware of the good that comes from being connected to others. Jubilee Foundation’s core work focuses on the importance of the physical space where we live and our connection to those who share that space with us. “People centered, Place based” is our tag line for that very reason. Who we choose to be to each other can transform an individual from feeling alone and lonely to seeing hope, joy and the world of possibilities.
Valerie came to Tierra Vida in April 2013 and loved the community particularly for its affordability. While here, Valerie struggled with health issues, but still managed to participate in volunteering. Her time with us was limited though, and she moved away in 2014 after marrying her husband that same year. By August of 2016, however, Valerie called and shared the sad news that her husband had passed away.
It was a difficult time in her life. After her husband’s death, his family shut her out of the home where they had lived, forcing her to move while still grieving. She experienced a lot of pain and anger. Valerie shared that she remembers having a general feeling of being angry at ‘everybody and everything.’ Fortunately, Jubilee staff found a unit for her, which allowed Valerie to return to Tierra Vida.
As she settled back into the community, she noticed that her angry disposition slowly changed. People in the community came forward and gave her the support she needed. She recalls that two of her neighbors invited her to barbecues and everyone in the community greeted her with smiles. It made her feel very welcomed. One neighbor, Gloria, would house sit for Valerie when she was out of town, and Gloria’s husband Edgar would shovel snow from her sidewalk and parking space. From these small acts, Valerie began seeing things differently. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have grown as a person,” she said.
Who we choose to be in these times may not feel impactful to the great world around us, but as Valerie’s story shows us, the spirit that we carry on a day to day basis can transform lives and shape a community for the better.