Posted by: joshjasper | April 27, 2014

Chips, salsa, and a whole lot of Connection

After getting off the phone with Michelle and hearing what Tammy needed, it took 36 minutes on Facebook to raise the $300 needed to build her ramp.  Rena wanted to donate her winnings from the NCAA tournament and Linda called within minutes to make sure we had enough money.  Nearly a dozen volunteers showed up yesterday to change someone’s life forever.  When we realized we were going to be short on supplies, it was Jeff that without hesitation, gave me a hundred-dollar bill and sent me shopping.  Midway through the job I got a call from Digger, telling me to bring the volunteer crew to Carlos O’Kelly’s for lunch when we were done.  They were buying.  We were going to accomplish something amazing and it was going to be done through Connection.

Tammy had been living in a nursing home away from her daughter and grandchild for months.  Due to some medical conditions, she was unable to climb the two steps into her house.  She needed an accessible ramp, and she didn’t have the resources to make it happen; she didn’t have the connections. 

I spent a lot of time yesterday leaning on my crutches, taking it all in.  Some of the volunteers on this project were individuals that we had helped with projects in the past.  Clare’s step-dad was busy nailing deck boards down on the ramp and Tom was digging holes for the posts.  At no time during the planning of Buddy Benches or when assembling a fence did we ask that people help on future projects, but here they were, helping out, paying it forward.  Others were there too, of course.  My guess is that everyone found themselves there for different reasons, but left feeling the same thing.  Connected.

No one person was the foreman or laborer. At any given time Cale, Jeff, or Kevin would step back to discuss next steps and everyone would pitch in from there.  There was no ego.  We worked as a team and offered up what we could as individuals and together created something pretty amazing.


Every time I work on a project I get to know each person a little better.  It’s amazing how we are all so very different in our own ways, but in so many ways we are all so very similar.  Each of us wants to do good.  We all want to experience that feeling of making a difference in someone else’s life.

We long for connection.

We accomplished something amazing in 4 short hours.  Together we brought Tammy home and actually got to see her get wheeled off the bus and up the ramp and into her home.


As I sat at the table at Carlos O’Kelly’s, all of us telling war stories of past Tough Mudders, sharing about our individual injuries we’ve experienced in the past few months, and listening to what’s next in everyone’s lives, I felt a bond with a each of them.  Something greater than a casual friendship.  We accomplished something together that was bigger than all of us.


We were connected.  Imagine if our entire community was connected in this way.   We would change the world as we know it.

Order up some more chips and salsa Digger, because brother, we’re gonna’ get there.




  1. what a good deed you all did. God bless you!

  2. Thank you for the interesting essay and beyond words, the effort placed on behalf of many, done by so few.

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