SPRINGFIELD, Mo — “Determination and hard work. We found a way to make it work.”
Grant Beach Neighborhood resident Kathy Lutz doesn’t back away from the reality that she, and many food insecure families in the Ozarks face.
While money may not be a problem for some, transportation to and from the grocery store is a weekly challenge.
“We would be carrying so many bags back from the store, we would have to set the bags down and rest.”
“I can’t imagine how someone with small kids could deal with having to get groceries and travel by bus. It can end up taking 2-3 hours of transport time. Things like eggs. Eggs are a nightmare to deal with if you are on the bus.”
On the outside, it seems like a problem difficult to solve.
Until you look down the street, and see the house of her neighbor, Pauletta Dunn.
“When we bought this house, it was in disrepair. Even more so that what it is now,” said Dunn.
Pink and yellow colors will call out caution as you approach the porch
Additional floor boards, and a bundled up table cloth confirm you’ve come to the right place.
Pauletta is constantly building up her home, in hopes for a better neighborhood.
“It seems like it takes about 3 families to get them back up into shape. You run out of money, and then you run out of time.”
But this story focuses around another possession, aside from the floor boards and table clothes. It’s one that many might take for granted. It’s the green SUV in the driveway.
Because even stronger than a house, is the framework of friendship.
“Everyone once in a while someone will offer to give me money for gas, and I tell them that would be great! But no, (I never ask for anything in return.)”
Pauletta makes it a priority taking neighbors to the doctors, or to the grocery store. Anywhere public transit and poverty has limited them in the past.
“To walk that far is a bit of a challenge, especially for the people that have some health problems. If you’re on a fixed income, taking a cab is out of the question if you still want to eat. There are a lot more people that need rides that aren’t willing to call and ask someone.”
Take this as a lesson, that all of us could learn this Thanks-GIVING season.
“The people in this neighborhood are so generous with their time. They really are. We may not have a lot of money, but we are always willing to give our time to our neighbors and community events.”