Small Projects Can Mean Big Differences
It isn’t every day that you get to significantly change someone’s quality of life. Our seniors and veterans built the world around us and gave us the freedoms and privileges we enjoy today. Our parents and elders deserve the same comforts that we can so easily provide for ourselves.
It may seem simple to walk out the door, but for some seniors and veterans, who are in wheelchairs, doors and steps can be barriers instead of passageways.
The 501(c)(3) nonprofit Operation Enduring Gratitude based in the greater Phoenix area seeks to provide underprivileged and at-risk veterans with home improvements. Their donated and completely free services to veterans include entry ramps, wheelchair access upgrades, porches, home health and safety improvements and other curbside improvements and repairs.
On a bright and pleasant Arizona morning we show ed up for a simple project that would yield positive benefits. A 96-year-old World War II veteran was to receive a new wooden porch and wheelchair ramp and all involved couldn't wait to start.
Not only would our veteran be able to sit and enjoy the Arizona sky on his new deck, he would also be able to leave his home, no longer isolated from his community. Just a porch and a ramp? Not to an at-risk, elderly, and wheelchair bound veteran who was limited in his ability to travel and even enjoy the outdoors.
Led by Charlie Ellis, Operation Enduring Gratitude delivered 2 building reps to oversee the construction project for our veteran. All of the materials were donated by McCarthy Construction and they also provided an experienced crew of 12 to complete the installation.
McCarthy Construction provides infrastructure for cutting-edge healthcare, high-quality education, and solar energy for Phoenix and the surrounding communities.
Along with McCarthy’s team, two volunteers came from Abundant Care Arizona, Mike and Loretta Babbel, and 10 other volunteers from the community at large.
The goal was to build a new porch and a wheelchair access ramp. Everyone showed up eager to help and ready to work. The first task was to remove the existing dilapidated deck. Following removal of the old deck the house looked lonely but we all knew it would soon improve.
We broke up the larger pieces of the old deck to allow for disposal and removed all of the debris. This gave us a clean slate to work with. The blank canvas was shortly replaced with a porch and ramp built with new, treated lumber that looked truly awesome. In addition to the pride we felt in being part of a job well done, everyone involved enjoyed the warmth and camaraderie of working together for a great cause and seeing and feeling the gratitude of our gracious WWII veteran host.
The Project Is Done But The Work Continues
With the project done, this veteran can now experience an improved quality of life that he previously couldn’t afford or maintain. Projects like this organized and led by Operation Enduring Gratitude help at-risk veterans by providing vital home improvements.
We all deserve the opportunity to live a full life and the opportunity to live comfortably and safely late into life.
More importantly, we all need the opportunity to see the life changing effects our donations and labor can bring about in the lives of our seniors. That is something truly rewarding.