When The going gets tough the tough put on furs. Well at least Randy and Kim Wheatley do. I met Randy and Kim as Resident Participants in the 2021 Rally CLE event with Building Hope in the City. Being the person that I am, hyper-focused, while in the planning stages I didn’t really pay attention to their story. However, in the post events that were created for residents leaders when they shared their “Why” my curiosity was peaked.
We’re residents of Ward 14 here in Cleveland, Ohio and we live within walking distance of one another but, we’d NEVER known one another before participating in Rally CLE. Randy and Kim have a history of philanthropy of the spiritual kind; they're both modest about how they serve the community. If you ask them what they do in the community? They’ll probably respond with Nothing. It’s not a false humility. What is it that they do? They love on the people whom most deem “undesirables”. You know the people we encounter that don’t smell or look like us. They feed people that live under bridges. They stand in front of fighting neighbors espousing peace. They supply needs without asking for anything in return. They provide shelter to families plagued by addiction. They offer hope in a hopeless generation. That’s what stopped and intrigued me. These people are providing shelter and more out of their personal resources!
Often when serving the community you serve in silos -a system, process, department, etc. that operates in isolation from others. We don’t get to share in service or in experience with one another. Building Hope in the City has created a program to address that called “Community Leadership Coop”. In this program we gather with other resident leaders within our community, to share and learn. After a meeting one night I reached out to Kim on Facebook to see if my husband and I could come over and meet, she agreed.
We went and we were beyond impressed not by what we saw but what we were able to experience. They actually love indeed, not just in words. We were able to meet the family that they’re currently assisting that lives in their upstairs apartment. They shared their story of redemption and how they’ve been saved from the elements of living on the streets, all the street woes, and being free of drug use because of the Wheatley’s. You see, I can’t capture what the Wheatley’s do. They do so much. The greatest gift that they give all of those that they help is HOPE! You see not all heroes wear capes, some wear furs.