Three Saturdays in a row during the month of January, several associates from the Orlando office cut wood, poured concrete, drilled screws, and built a wheelchair accessible ramp for a local friend in need.
As part of RS&H’s Elevate Fund’s first distribution, the Center for Independent Living (CIL) in Central Florida was able to purchase $3,000 worth of materials that supported building four ramps for people with disabilities during the organization’s annual RAMPAGE event. The center empowers individuals by providing accessibility options and resources for people who have disabilities.
Not only did Orlando Office Leader Eddy Gonzalez apply for the $3,000 grant to fund the builds, but he also participated in the most recent build.
Eddy has been involved with this organization for four years, and the Orlando office itself has been supporting the center since 2011. Eddy’s involvement began when he took on the volunteer coordinator role from another associate who transferred to a new city. In his years with the center, Eddy has spread a passion for volunteering to other associates within the office. Several of his coworkers and their families have been involved in building ramps.
“The freedom of mobility is something that most people take for granted,” Eddy said. “By providing a ramp at a manufactured home and making it accessible, it makes a difference that we are helping someone make their life more manageable.”
The associates’ most recent ramp was the first to be designed, planned, and built from beginning to end by RS&H. This ramp build was for Edwin, who had a massive stroke on the right side of his body that nearly paralyzed him. Edwin, who uses a wheelchair to get around, had difficulty getting into and out of his house. The steps that led up to his front door made even going to doctors’ appointments a dangerous and challenging feat. On these trips, Edwin’s wife had to balance his weight in the chair going up and down the stairs, so he and his chair would not tumble off the steps.
But now, that’s changed.
The team provided Edwin with a stable, well-built ramp that allows him to easily get in and out of his home without any struggle.
“It’s rewarding to give back to the community, especially to give back another form of transportation and mobility,” Eddy said.
Volunteering in the local community is a great team building exercise, too, Eddy reflected. During the course of the ramp build, associates help each other learn how to drill, mix concrete, and more.
It’s great to see people learn something they didn’t know how to do before, he said.
“RS&H is a great company to work with, we have great people, and we do great things,” Eddy said. “And this is one more great thing that we can do.”
On the second day of the build, the group was given a homemade meal for lunch by the homeowner to show appreciation for their work. On the third build day, the District 5 Secretary, Mike Shannon, joined in to help. He’s actively involved in volunteer activities and accepted the invitation to join after Eddy mentioned their efforts with CIL.
Thanks to the following RS&H volunteers for their dedication to helping their community: Renato Gonzalez, Abhijeet Desai, Jeff Glenn, Ruby Kandiah, Chelsea Scheid, Nathan Silva, John Rice, Steven Sandoval, Daniel Bennett, Ed Colon, Stephanie Trefry, Thomas Anzelone, Lauren Rhodes, Matt Wall, Cristian Henao and their family members.