TCI Story #4 – “It’s Worth the Effort”

Esther Juarez and her daughter.

This past Sunday, September 17, Weimar Institute hosted a community health expo as a companion activity to our Total Community Involvement (TCI) program. What makes this exciting is the backstory leading up to the expo.

A few weeks ago we distributed promotional expo flyers as part of TCI. As mentioned before, the past few Wednesdays our students had training time in preparation for their TCI community activities which included health expo training.

Esther Juarez, health expo coordinator, explains that in the past they weren’t able to help as many people as they would have liked because “we are far from the city” and thus people aren’t as inclined to drive the distance.

Still Esther and those helping with the expo wanted to do what they could. Esther, a woman of faith, decided to ask “the Lord to send more than 40.” However, she wasn’t sure would happen.

Oleg Lotca, HEALTH Student, welcoming people at the Health Expo.

Although most of the expo flyers had been distributed on previous Wednesdays, there still some left. TCI coordinator Narlon Edwards invited students and staff to go out with him the day before the expo so they could share this opportunity with those in the community who didn’t know. This way no one would miss out.

Although she was tired from a long week, Esther joined the group that afternoon. After two hours of knocking on doors and personally inviting people to the expo, everyone was tired. Esther also wondered if anyone they met that day would come. She had her answer on Sunday when a total of 48 first-time visitors to the Weimar campus came for health checkups. But there’s more!

Audrey, an 86-year old woman, was thankful for what she learned at the health expo. She wouldn’t have known about it except that someone from the group had knocked on her door the day before and invited her to it. Those two hours of connecting with the community face-to-face were “worth the effort. Definitely!” says Esther. She and Audrey hit it off so well that Audrey encouraged Esther to come to her neighborhood center for the elderly to hold health and other classes. Now Esther is excitedly planning for that and whatever other results may come from the health expo and TCI.

Photos: Courtesy of Esther Juarez

As for Esther’s concerns about people missing out on the expo because of the distance, it turns out that some visitors drove 20-30 minutes to get here. Some drove 40 minutes. One lady even drove more than an hour from Sacramento to attend! She was so impressed with this free expo that now she wants to volunteer at the church-hosted health expo to be held near her home this coming Sunday! Before the Weimar expo, she wasn’t familiar with this type of expo or with Weimar. Amazing!

We look forward to more amazing TCI-related experiences. From the energizing connection time we had on campus this past Wednesday to all we learned about gathering new project requests and developing them, TCI continues to challenge and amaze us. Next week we’ll be out in the community as an entire group of teams. For now, we want to share Episode 1 of our new TCI video series so you can experience TCI with us!

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