June 22, 2014
It is not often that you awake to see angels gathering outside your home, but that is exactly what I saw one recent Thursday morning.
These angels didn’t have wings and halos, but baseball caps and work gloves.
Instead of carrying harps and trumpets, they came armed with screwdrivers and levels, saws and screws, drills and tape measures.
They were members of Local 1219 Ford retirees. These 20 men came in force to construct a wheelchair ramp for my dad. The way they worked together, each with a specific task to do, tackling the job at hand with purpose and joy, was something to see.
My parents came out to be part of the build, and were rewarded with kind words and conversation from several of the retirees. We found that dad’s ramp was the first of this summer to be undertaken, and that approximately 50 more would follow before the weather once again brings the building to a close in the fall. This program has been operational for nearly 20 years, with some volunteers being involved for over half that time.
Some retirees working on this community project are in their 70s and 80s, but you would never know it by the dedicated way they worked. We also discovered that Crouse Lumber and Allen County Fabricators are the “silent partners” in this endeavor, contributing lumber just over cost and donating the steel threshold that will help my dad get seamlessly from the driveway to the ramp. Then there are those who contribute the necessary funds to help make it all possible.
I was too overcome with emotion to thank these kind men properly and personally on the day they built the ramp for my dad, so I am writing now. I said then, and truly believe now, that their generosity not only lifted my dad’s spirits that day, but has changed his life. This access to the world will enable him and my mom to leave their home and resume the activities they enjoyed before dad’s recent health problems.
Many angels have helped my parents throughout this time from the staff and at St. Rita’s hospital and the nurses, therapists, dietitians, aides and volunteers at Springview Manor. These thoughtful men are the latest in this very long list.
If you would like to be a part of this wonderful charitable endeavor, which provides free wheelchair ramps for the elderly and disabled in our area, you can be!! Donations can be sent to the UAW Local 1219 office at 1440 Bellefontaine Ave, Lima. Checks can be made payable to Crouse Lumber Company, or LACNIP (if you would like your donation to be tax deductible). If you’d like more information about this terrific charity, contact Bill Roeder at 419-649-1391.
Words cannot fully express my family’s gratitude for the dedication of these volunteers, but we know that God’s generosity will not be outdone and they will be abundantly blessed for their good works. Many, many thanks to you all!