It was never about the houses. Community Powered Revitalization (CPR) is much bigger than a fresh coat of paint or prepping an old house for the coming winter. Those are good things — powerful, uplifting things — but they aren't world-changing. They won't transform the community.
Unless you do them as a community.
On October 21 and 22, 2016, we saw 1,380 men and women from six cities volunteer to serve their neighbors through CPR. Even as they gave up their weekends to install fences, mow lawns, and haul away debris, these volunteers were doing something much more incredible. They were building community.
I spent a good portion of the blitz asking volunteers and homeowners what the words “community” and “revitalization” meant to them. In doing so, I found that most everyone saw the same value in CPR. A community, they'd say, is more than people who share geographical or social space. It's about knowing and caring about each other; tackling problems together. And revitalization? Well, that's about returning to a state of beautiful completeness.
The cities we serve — Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Watauga, Richland Hills, and Haltom City — are a community. Not because they share boundary lines or sit in the same county, but because they are filled with people who give generously to support others, with no concern for their own reward. They do it because it's good for everyone, and that makes it the right thing to do. Serving together draws us closer, and the harmony we nurture by doing so makes us stronger than we could ever be alone.
So, even though some of the homes around here need a little tender, loving care, it's hard to say that our cities need much revitalization. It's tough to imagine the people in this amazing community getting any better! But we know that there's something more than restored homes and clean yards to be had. Something beyond “doing the right thing.” There's a relational wholeness that was built into the fabric of humanity from the beginning, one that eludes even the wisest and most skilled of us. We can't be whole on our own. It just isn't part of the programming. That's what we're talking about when we say we're looking to transform this city.
We just want to see the world return to its original design, one that gives everyone a place to belong.