News & Articles
One Ramp Can Change a Life
March 16th, 2022  |  by

A letter from a home owner reminded our Appalachia staff how much of an impact a single project can make. This couple shares how a new ramp changed their lives and how volunteers brighten their days.

On any of our fields you will hear our staff say that one week will only show you so much of what a project will be. It can take a whole summer, or longer, to complete a needed project for a partner or a family. But the story doesn’t end with the project. That work lives on for years to come, often past what any of our staff will see.

Then, years later, there comes a letter from a partner or homeowner explaining how CrossRoads is still impacting their lives. One such letter came from a ramp project that was completed in the Appalachia field several years ago. Homeowners Rodney and Jeanie explain how just a simple ramp changed their lives:

“Until just a few years ago all the things you have done for us would have been no issue at all. BUT, due to my husband’s health he can no longer do anything he used to do. He was a strong willed and hardworking man as you know but years of debilitating physical illness has made him a very depressed man who spends probably 80% of his time in a lift chair or in bed in the house. Television and his IPad are his lifelines…

Rod is now in a wheelchair all the time and he wasn’t able to get to the back part of our property where we have a fire pit. And where he can watch the wildlife during the spring through the fall. He had talked for years about needing a ramp out to that section so that he could enjoy the fire pit with everyone else. Sit in the sun when he wanted to. Just numerous things he no longer had access to… Rod is still with us after two severe heart attacks and a heart that is so so weak. God has a reason for keeping him here on this earth.”

ramp building in appalachia

The communities we work with in Appalachia are close-knit, proud of their heritage and their work ethic, and mostly elderly. We have built many ramps over the years for homeowners who couldn’t safely get into their raised houses, the home they’ve always lived in and always will. Jeanie explains the homeowner’s hesitation best in her letter: “When I first requested help from you I felt ashamed because I didn’t feel we should. We had always done everything for ourselves. Never requiring help. But as things kept piling up it became obvious that help was needed.”

Once our staff and volunteers are invited into a home, we strive to not only do great construction work, but also great relationship work. Often a ramp is only a piece of the puzzle. It is the conversations and the opportunity to give back themselves that truly makes an impact on the people we serve.

ramp building in appalachia

“Never have I had such wonderful folks come into our home and treat us with such respect. The Crossroads staff was wonderful. Then when they started bringing in the groups for different jobs throughout the summers, we have made lifetime friends…  I hope that in our conversations with some of the young folks who were here we may have been able to give them a good word or something that might have helped them along the way. We certainly enjoyed them.”

Our staff in Appalachia continues to seek out these unique opportunities to serve and be served. Interested in being a part of this amazing work? Contact our Field Coordinator CJ Noe and find more information on our website.

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