Midvale Cares connects residents with neighbors in need of help
Oct 21, 2019 02:41PM
● By Sarah Morton Taggart
Spencer Mears cuts tree branches while helping to clean up a fellow Midvale resident’s yard in July. (Photo courtesy Spencer Mears)
By Sarah Morton Taggart | [email protected]
On one sunny September morning, three people arrived at a Midvale house at the same time. One had tools and gloves, one brought cold beverages, and one had teenage sons in tow. What these three people had in common was a desire to help a neighbor in need.
Spencer Mears created the Midvale Cares Facebook group page in April 2018. Since then, more than a dozen volunteers have helped at least five homeowners and participated in service projects at Copperview Elementary and The Family Support Center.
Carrie Wagner noticed the group on Facebook and decided to join. “I just think people need help sometimes, and sometimes I have something to give,” Wagner said. “I have three boys, and I want them to learn to think of people other than themselves.”
The teens went right to work that morning hauling tree trimmings to a dumpster and pulling weeds that sprouted near the sidewalk.
Mears had written a post a few days earlier explaining that the Midvale compliance detective had been in touch with him. A resident needed help removing weeds and hauling items to a rented dumpster, but was not able to do the work on his own.
“I just love doing yard work,” said Nancy McCoy Beggs, another volunteer. She lent gloves to Brent Stanger, who began using clippers to remove overgrown weeds.
“As residents of Midvale City, we love our city and want to make it the best place we can,” said Mears in a Facebook post. “One way of doing that is to volunteer in our community to help make life better for those around us. There are opportunities for service all around us.”
The group started as a general way for people to connect and share opportunities to help with existing service projects and organizations. But the effort gained focus when Mears met Detective Gerry Wayne, the new code enforcement investigator for Midvale City.
“We had received a couple of requests, but once Detective Wayne become the code enforcement officer he started to really get to know the people in Midvale and we've had more opportunities to serve those in our community,” Mears said. “I had a couple of times that Midvale Code Enforcement had given me violations during times that I was out of a job or had other things happening in my life and it made us feel like people around us didn't understand what we were going through. It didn't take long before I started to hear about others who were in the same situation. Now that things have improved for me and my family, we decided the best thing we could do was to let others in Midvale know that there are people who care. Instead of reporting our neighbors to code enforcement and making things harder for them, we'd rather help them out.”
In July, Wayne connected Mears with a Midvale resident who needed to have a weedy area cleaned and several trees removed and cut into sections for bulk pickup. The resident owned the tools and supplies needed to get the job done, but had health issues that prevented her from doing the work herself.
“When we started Midvale Cares, it was slow to get volunteers and for the first few projects it was just my wife, two boys and I,” Mears said. “But now that people are starting to understand what we do, we have around 15 people who have helped out and I'm hoping to see that number grow.”
Individuals who would like to join Midvale Cares can join the public group on Facebook. As of Oct. 13, the group had 76 members.
“I'm hoping to see this group grow and help build our community here in Midvale,” Mears said. “We really have a great community spirit here in Midvale, but sometimes we don't know what opportunities there are to serve those around us. Ultimately, I would love to see this expand to other cities where they can be serving others and build their communities, too.”
Beggs is also excited for more opportunities to volunteer.
“My church teaches that when you ask for help, you bless the one that helps you,” said Beggs.