DECATUR, Tenn. (WATE) — Nearly 40 volunteers can together to help a blind East Tennessee woman safely get in and out of her house by constructing a ramp and remodeling her porch.
Two weeks ago, Don Dare spoke with Vanessa Hill about her need for a ramp so she could get out of her house. Following the story, several church members got together to build to ramp for her. From their initial call, it took volunteers about four days to gather the material, start the work, and complete the project. A job that’s made a world of difference for Vanessa and her partner Ronald.
Two weeks ago, before the ramp was built, Hill crawled down the badly damaged front steps of her home in Meigs County. After breaking her left leg last spring, this was the routine Hill went through half a dozen times a week whenever she left or returned to her home. Her back porch was even in worse shape, they rarely used it.
Reed O’Daniel, a retired carpenter, and contractor Brian Alexander got in touch with Hill after seeing her struggle.
“I said I think I can help you, then I called a gentleman from church and got the okay to get the material,” said Reed O’Daniel.
Within two days after that call, construction began on the ramp and porch. In total, church members from four different congregations were involved in the project. When volunteers saw the damaged and dangerous front steps of the home, they had to go.
“It is just amazing to see people who actually care,” said Hill.
“I see a large movement that God placed a lot of men and women together and gave us an opportunity to help a family in need,” said Alexander. “Not only help Miss Vanessa and Ronald, but believe it or not, it has helped us just as much as it has helped them. And coming together getting up out of our pews on Sunday morning then coming and getting in the community and helping someone is most important.”
Two weeks ago, the long driveway to Vanessa’s home was filled with ruts and it was nearly impossible to navigate it. Another volunteer graded it and smoothed it to make it easier to navigate.
“We’ve had a lot of funds donated from Vulcan and H&H. Rock quarries to provide the rock to finish their driveway out,” said Alexander. “We had over 30 volunteers and raised over $6,000 between cash donations and material donations.”
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Hill has this heartfelt message for those who helped. “Thank you so much for caring, for loving me. For being a part of the good Lord’s work.”
Following Dare’s first story, many of you called our 6 On Your Side hotline looking for ways to help. Hill told us she appreciates the outpouring of love from everyone. The volunteers who did the work came from Decatur and Athens and from all walks of life. There was a doctor, a nurse, a lawyer, a ten-year-old, and many others who had a hand in doing the work. After financial contributions were added up, $400 was used to help pay Hill’s utility bill.