by Chris Lemmons
Joe Sample has been a fixture around Impact for as long as I can remember. He’s affectionately known as JoJo, and every time he’s around he’s always in the middle of the work, smiling and talking about this or that, happy no matter what. For the last couple years his physical health has started taking its toll, especially on both hips. His doctors say he needs total hip replacements, but he has little or no income and relies on the assistance of federally funded programs. That help often comes very slowly, and he has been waiting for the surgery to be approved for several years.
JoJo’s trips to Impact require a good deal of walking to and from bus stops and getting in and out of his wheelchair, which is very painful for him due to the lack of soft tissue between bones. Nevertheless, when JoJo arrives to help at the food distributions at our Resource Center, which for the last 6 months has been nearly every time, his positive attitude and joy is infectious. He insists on standing and using his wheelchair as a crutch and also as a tool to carry the food that he’s giving to each car.
Several weeks ago JoJo made a very humble request. 3 of the 6 hard plastic spokes on one of the wheels had given out from so much use. Unfortunately, there were none to be found in Impact’s warehouse. JoJo wasn’t too concerned however, reasoning that one would probably be donated soon. After patiently waiting several more weeks, a very generous person caught wind of the need and purchased JoJo a new wheelchair. What a beautiful thing to be a part of a community of believers who knows the value of looking out for each other, and who also has the ongoing example of someone like JoJo, with his selfless service and patient faith.