Community News

Posted on: August 11, 2017

Volunteers Construct Wheelchair Ramp for Coon Rapids Homeowner

A Coon Rapids woman received something special this past weekend.  75-year-old Ruth Schmidt suffered a leg injury just over a year ago, which confined her to a wheelchair. But through a generous act of kindness, from a few good men, her life was made a little easier.

"This is good, wonderful," said Coon Rapids resident Ruth Schmidt about her new ramp that leads to her front door. And it’s a miracle when compared to the one she had before.

"OK, and here we are."

Her belief in the kindness of others was strengthened by a call she made to the city. She had a question about a ramp she was currently using.  

Coon Rapids Building Official Greg Brady took the call.

"What shocked me was it was literally a four foot by eight foot piece of plywood, sitting on top of the stairs and then going down in the grass," said Brady.

He said he’d seen cases like Ruth's before. And as a member of the 10,000 Lakes Chapter of the International Code Council, Brady knew there was something they could do. So he called Ruth back.

"I get a phone call back that these building supervisors,” Ruth recalled. “We can put one up on the weekend for you for nothing. I thought you've got to be kidding me."

"It's something we like to do," said Brady.

After several weeks of planning, six area members of the 10,000 Lakes Chapter spent eight hours on a Saturday to build Ruth’s ramp.

Chapter president Mike Palm says the group donates their time and materials, usually about once a year, for the benefit of people like Ruth.

"It's great to see a smile on somebody's face when they can do the things that normal people can do and now they feel like they're normal too," said Palm.

“Building that ramp makes it so much easier for her to stay in a daily routine and get out of the house, that you just can't put a price on it," Brady added.

Now it's less work for Ruth to get in and out of the house and for that, she's grateful.

"They did a wonderful job,” Ruth said. “And I'm glad they did it."

Ruth says she enjoys using the upper part of her ramp as a deck to sit outside. The 10,000 Lakes Chapter is committed to doing one ramp per year by finding someone in need, like Ruth.

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