‘All I could do is give them praise’
Marsha Collins simply couldn’t stop praising the Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans (VOA) for building the ramp that helps her and husband continue to live at home.
“It made it so much easier,” Collins said. “I had gotten to the point where I didn’t even want to go down the steps.”
The situation was just as difficult for her husband, Ellis, who also struggled with navigating the high steps that lead to the doorway of their home. She added, “He had to stop and catch his breath when he reached the stop step.”
But, on Sept. 18, the Boutte couple’s lives changed for the better when three volunteers with the group arrived and the ramp was up for them three days later.
“We couldn’t have asked for better workers,” Collins said. “That ramp is super because we really needed it.”
Both in their 70s, Collins said they were amazed with how the 45-foot ramp reconnected them to the world.
“I have a bad back leg and brittle bones so where I can’t afford to fall,” Collins said, adding of her husband, “And he’s the same way.”
The Volunteers of America made the difference for the couple, as well as Olivia Griffin, also of Boutte, who got a 75-foot ramp in April of last year. Griffin, a stroke victim, was living in a rehabilitation center but wanted to return home. The 75-foot ramp that VOA built for the couple make it possible for her to live at home again safely.
“As a resident of St. Charles Parish, I’m so pleased that Volunteers of America and our Repairs on Wheels program partner with United Way of St. Charles to fund ramps for low-income elderly and disabled citizens. It makes me proud to improve the lives of St. Charles Parish residents,” said VOA Vice President Al Kohorst.
Home repairs can be challenging for seniors, but VOA knows neglecting them can make it hazardous for them to remain in their own home.
VOA partners with United Way of St. Charles to help seniors live safely and independently in their own homes.
Through its Repairs on Wheels program, qualifying seniors receive home safety surveys, minor home maintenance and minor home repairs—from replacing challenging ceiling light bulbs, or installing grab bars and handrails, to building ramps.
The organization has more than 20 programs to support and empower the community’s most vulnerable populations, including children, families, adults in need, persons with disabilities, seniors and veterans—in 16 southeast Louisiana parishes. It has been a leading local human service provider for more then 120 years.
To learn more about VOA and its Repairs on Wheels program, visit voagno.org or call (504) 482-2130.
“They did a beautiful job,” Collins added about the ramp. “All I could do is give them praise. I would gladly tell anybody who needs a ramp to get in touch with them.”