Ged Dipprey is an affable neighbor with a mind for real estate and a heart for members of The Well Community, who live with life-altering mental illnesses. Ged’s family, including his wife, Lori, and two children, have been supporters of The Well for several years. His business, the Good Deed Real Estate Group, which includes Oak Cliff residents Sam Vachon and Linda Ward, also partners financially with The Well.
Ged learned about The Well Community through his friendship with Joel Pulis, The Well’s founder. Having lived in Oak Cliff for more than a dozen years, the Dippreys’ interest in The Well has deepened over time. We had a chat with Ged recently to learn more about why they support The Well Community, and why The Well is good for Oak Cliff.
In what ways have you been involved with The Well?
We hope to volunteer at some point, but for now we are primarily involved through financial support with your fall fundraising event, Starry Night, and other special needs.
What are some of the motivating factors that led you and Lori to personally support The Well?
It really comes down to Jesus’ calls us to take care of the least of these and to take care of those who have needs but are shunned by society. I personally see this segment of the population as a group that has a tremendously difficult time fitting into society. There is a lot of prejudice toward them because of their differences. My heart just aches for them. I did have a childhood friend with a brain injury that impacted his behavior. He was noticeably different. He just left a mark on my heart. I could see who he was beyond his disability, and more than anything, I wanted to love that guy and be his friend—even more so than I would if he were “normal.”
In addition to your personal support, your business invests financially through donations to The Well Community. Why is it important that local businesses provide funding to The Well Community? How does The Well benefit the neighborhood?
People who don’t understand mental illness might think it is good that those with mental illness have a place to go so they don’t infringe on the business’ space. But that is not our perspective. The slogan for the Good Deed Group is to provide “real estate with purpose.” We feel we are purposefully making our community more inclusive and stronger because we actually are able to see that people with mental health needs are not forgotten and that they are loved and cared for.
I think there is a direct correlation of how healthy our community is with how it addresses concerns in the community. If we can’t take care of those who are struggling, then we are not healthy. As a city, we are not healthy.
The more we talk about mental illness, the more it allows the community to define better who they interact with on a daily basis and to label it—not in a condescending way, but in a way that brings acceptance and understanding.
What would you tell other local businesses about why they should support The Well?
From a business perspective, if you want to be a partner in the community and you want your brand to be associated with the values that align with your company (which in our case are compassion, service and a heart for our neighborhood), then pick an organization you can partner with that is meeting the needs of community members and bettering the neighborhood by giving them a place to call home, which is exactly what The Well does.
The Well does a great job of actual inclusion, not hiding the stigma associated with mental illness but actually putting around it a context that helps us understand. We all have basic needs. We all have worth and self-worth. That is what The Well offers to this segment of our community. Not only that—it is a community within a community. And the community as a whole can be a part of it. I know many who have poured their hearts into serving with The Well, whether providing lunches or serving dinners or other things.
As a larger community in Oak Cliff, we have a heart to put our time, our talents and our financial resources there. It is reasonable to expect that someone wanting to stake their claim in Oak Cliff and say, “We understand and support the community,” would support The Well.
Your business or company could make a huge difference in the Oak Cliff area by supporting The Well. Give now.
Be sure to follow The Well Community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more about the challenges faced by those living with mental illnesses, as well as how The Well provides a place of community and support.