The Gift of Life

Leaving the house in her wheelchair was once a struggle for Eddie Mae Walden and her family. No one is more excited about now having a ramp than her daughter.

Wanda Jenkins, her daughter, says, "I was having such a hard time getting her in and out, up and on the steps. Plus, I have a bad back, so it's been convenient for me too."

Ability First finds needy, disabled people and teams up with Volunteer Florida for the "Six Days, Six Ramps" project.

Wendy Spencer of the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism says, "We build six ramps with volunteers, AmeriCorp members, school children, businesses, groups that want to come out and help. In six days we build six ramps for those people."

Albertson's grocery store donated a storage trailer to Ability First. It was presented Monday at Walden's home.

Judith Barrett, the executive director of Ability First, says, "The trailer has been a great gift for us. We have been helping to build ramps for people with disabilities in this community for the last few years. By having the trailer, we now have equipment that we can take on site to support our volunteers' efforts in building the ramps."

Barrett says this gift will encourage more volunteers to help people like Walden for many years to come.

Since the project began three years ago, more than 300 volunteers have built 20 ramps for citizens in Leon, Wakulla, Liberty and Gadsden Counties.