It’s December, and what better way to enjoy than reading about strangers finding the needed help in Grand County? Well, it just happened and it’s a wonderful story to read next to a warm fire on a December night.
After Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas 2 years ago, a young family (kids 8 and 10 years old) was uprooted and decided to move to Oregon for a fresh start. They found temporary work in Oregon but longed to return to their home state of Texas, where the parents were raised, and their immediate family still lived.

The family decided to move back to Texas and began their return just a short while ago. When they got to Grand County their mini-van experienced engine trouble. The family found good fortune when they landed on the doorsteps of a local church.  After assessing the family’s situation, the church referred them to Mountain Family Center (MFC). MFC met with the family and reached out to several local garages for assistance. Bill’s Auto was quick to respond.

While checking out the engine problem, the Bill’s Auto mechanic noticed that all four tires were bald and could blow out at any moment. The family was short on funds and could only fix the engine with assistance from the first church. They had no remaining money for a hotel or food much less new tires. A situation none of us would want to face.

Fortunately for this Texas family, Grand County takes care of those who need help. First, MFC’s Mandi Schott became the advocate for this family.   Mandi met with the family, listened to them, and spoke with the kids. Everything about their story (troubles and all) checked out and she was impressed by the family’s positive approach to their situation.

Mandi then got to work and made several calls to other local churches and the Fraser River Valley Lions Club.  Each of these groups pulled together quite a support team for this Texas family: Bill’s Auto provided pro-bono labor and the tires at cost; the Mountain Family Center bought the new tires through their Changes Thrift Store donations; another local church stepped up and provided additional funds/gift cards; and, the Fraser Lions Club donated $100 from its monthly “Random Act of Kindness” fund (appropriately named in this case) to help this family get back home in time for the holidays.

Mandi Schott shared that she loves her job at MFC.  She said that she is constantly amazed at the generosity in our community.  “All I have to do is pick up the phone and make a few calls and the resources just come together. We have a very giving community and that makes Grand County such a wonderful place to live.  Only as a community are we able to address the hardships that others experience; and there are many churches and other local businesses that always contribute in helping MFC help others. We could not do this great work alone.”

With the mini-van repaired, new tires for a safe ride, groceries and cash for traveling, the family left our wonderful valley for Texas, both appreciative and grateful to so many strangers in Grand County.
It might be easy to think this was a one-time event. But in talking to those involved in this giving-event, Grand County’s heart is big and there are organizations and groups always ready to help. MFC is probably the best well known team, and they need our help to keep giving. Others, like our local churches and the Fraser Lions club, were only too willing to help. It’s a year-round effort and programs like the Lions Club “Can-Do” program is perfect (each month members of the Lions Club donate food at their regular meetings and then deliver it to MFC). Roger Odneal, the Lions Club president, told me this is a new program and just one of many ways that the club supports our community.  

My take-away from this wonderful story is a simple one – sometimes all it takes to help is a simple call. One call leads to another call and pretty soon prayers are answered. It doesn’t always take a village to help someone. Sometimes it just takes someone making a CALL.

If you want to comment on this or story, or have your own “giving-program”, contact me at