|By Brent Brown, Greensburg Daily News, Ind.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
On a cold, misty early spring morning,
Funding for Carolyn's project came in the form of a
That's where things stood Wednesday morning when Tower,
All six men are retirees who comprise a so-called "Wednesday Crew" that completed 13 ramps in 16 weeks last year. They finished the first season of the program with 22 ramps built in total. Carolyn's ramp is the first constructed by the Wednesday Crew in
For the work, the six volunteers have accepted no pay. The noble toil itself is reward enough.
"It's extremely rewarding to see them walk down the ramp for the first time with a big smile on their face," Tower said.
The impact of the work happening just outside Carolyn's front door was immediately apparent for the ramp's recipient as well.
Carolyn passed the morning watching TV and chatting with her son Russ, grateful for the work going on just past her front door.
Carolyn is helped by her son who lives close by, but even entering her 81st year, she remains as independent as she ever was. Her new ramp will only help her stay that way.
"It's kept her from being a prisoner in her home," Bateman said of the project. "We want to offer individuals an opportunity to stay in their homes for as long as possible."
That's part of
The Ramps to Freedom program is geared toward helping individuals with physical limitations see an improved quality of life. The program isn't limited to seniors, either, as children and other adults with mobility difficulties may also qualify for a ramp installation.
The program is funded through grants, donations and area churches. The key to keeping the program going is adding volunteers in the vein of
"We're always looking for volunteers," Bateman said. She added her hopes a crew of
"Please call," Bateman asked of those potential volunteers. "I would love to talk with them."
In the meantime,
Smiling and seated comfortably in her living room recliner Wednesday morning, Carolyn was a picture of calm, contented appreciation.
"It'll be so good to be able to get out again and go all over town," Carolyn said. "I appreciate everyone, all of them, out there working in the cold and the rain."
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