Recently Habitat for Humanity of Miami County’s “A Brush With Kindness” team completed two very important projects. For each project, a wheelchair ramp was built, positively impacting the lives of two great families!
Whorton Ramp Project
Drawn by Stan Flowers and supervised by Bob Gore, a fantastic wheelchair ramp was built for the Whorton family. The Whorton ramp was a large project; the material costs and permits, rental equipment, and volunteer hours totaled to quite a lot. Thank you VERY much to everyone who made the ramp build possible! Riverside of Miami County, Milton Union High School Club, and the Monroe Grange generously funded and provided volunteers for the Whorton ramp project. The Troy Church of the Nazarene provided lunch for over forty volunteers, and allowed Habitat’s “ABWK” team use of their parking lot for pre-building.
Please enjoy the following note, written by the recipient of the wheelchair ramp…
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
People are amazing, so complex. They tend to the needs of not only oneself, but also the needs of others. Why is it so odd? Because in truth we all need help to find our way eventually; no person has ever been able to do it all on his/her own. Help, you would think, is a curse aiming to weaken the body. Well, assistance is not bad; in fact, it is why humanity has made it this long. Now, I admit no one likes asking for help, but sooner or later we do one of two things. We stay pigheaded and refuse to swallow our pride, or we pick ourselves up, dust off all the things that make us feel “frail,” and say to the world “I need help.”
A while ago, I went to see an old friend. Now this girl is wheelchair bound and very bullheaded. She would never ask for help when it came to anything; indeed, she would not even ask for the things she needed, afraid to make people uncomfortable or burden them. You see her family didn’t have a ramp; so every time she wanted to go somewhere, she had to have a family member carry her outside, and often couldn’t go because her family had other obligations. Also, they would not leave her home alone. Now mind you, this girl is now seventeen and at that time her parents saw to it that she still had, for lack of a better term, a “babysitter.” She got so sick of depending on other people that she didn’t even feel human anymore, but instead more like a helpless dog. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, that’s just how God made it. She knew that, but there was no hiding how mad she had gotten whenever she couldn’t do “normal “things.” She was reminded of all the things she might never be able to overcome, until one-day things changed. She found out that the ramp was funded, and someday soon she would be able to go out with her friend or just go out without having to make someone stop what he or she were doing. Thanks to people, both ones she knew and some she had never met, she was now one step closer to overcoming everything that made her feel less human than everyone else, and closer to becoming the person she and her family/friends see her as, which is a regular teenage girl with a long life ahead of her.
Kindness built the ramp. People working for no personal gain restored my faith in the human race, and I would like to say thanks. You all do great work, and have the character that the whole world should embrace.
Thank you all,
Harris Ramp Project
Volunteers from Honda participated in the latest wheelchair ramp project completed by Habitat’s “A Brush with Kindness” program. This was truly a Honda built ramp, as not only did eighteen volunteers work on the construction itself, but Honda contributed funds to purchase the materials as well. David Schmidt, an engineer at the Russell’s Point plant helped design the ramp and draw up the plans. It was really amazing to see this property transformed in just a little over six hours. Mary, the recipient of the wheelchair ramp, praised the group and thanked them “from the bottom of my heart!”
“Everyone should be able to enter and exit their home on their own,” says ABWK coordinator Debra Hoff. “It allows them freedom and independence in a way that nothing else can. The problem is that the applicants we work with often do not have the finances to cover costs, even with our providing the labor. We try to find sponsorships for at least 50% or more of those costs, and then the balance is paid back in low non-interest bearing loan payments. Finding sponsors is crucial to the continuation of the wheelchair ramp portion our ABWK program. We would very quickly run out of funds without the sponsorships.”
Thank you to every fundraiser, donor, and volunteer who contributed to these incredible projects! Miami County’s Habitat for Humanity volunteers are the best! Each of you makes such a difference in the lives of your fellow community members.
Be sure to check out more project pictures in the Photo Gallery. Also, visit our website’s “A Brush With Kindness” page to learn more about ABWK’s efforts in helping revitalize the appearance of the neighborhood, strengthening connections within the community, and preserving affordable housing stock.