From Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna:
Nineteen Lowe’s Heroes volunteers from three different Lowe’s stores came together to build an accessibility ramp for a senior citizen who’s a double amputee. The effort was funded by Aging in Place grants awarded by Lowe’s and distributed to five local Habitat organizations across the country, which included Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna. The Lowe’s volunteers came from Bel Air (store #2589), North East (store #2848) and Westminster (store #568) to work on this project.
“I was ecstatic,” said Rosalind Bonds upon hearing that she had qualified for Habitat Susquehanna’s Repair Program and would receive the much-needed ramp. “I felt that if they helped me, I’d have a freedom I hadn’t had in years. I have been a prisoner in the house, dependent on family and friends to get me out the front door and down the steps.”
Bonds has lived in her Abingdon townhouse since 1983, but lost one of her legs in 2012 and her second leg in 2013 from vascular problems caused by lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease. She explained that this year had been an especially tough one medically, landing her in the hospital many times in 2018, and most recently the week before the ramp was installed, after she had had a heart attack.
“I’m glad we were able to match Ms. Bonds’ need with the Aging in Place grant money and volunteers provided by Lowe’s,” said Terry Hottle, Home Rehabilitation Supervisor in charge of Habitat Susquehanna’s Repair Program. “Habitat’s vision is that having a safe, stable home helps bring strength, security and independence to families, and ultimately, communities. Ms. Bonds will definitely be a testament to that vision.”
Bonds concurred. “I missed numerous affairs because I couldn’t leave the house without help,” she observed about her new-found independence. “I am in debt to Habitat Susquehanna, and to all the volunteers who did a fantastic job with my ramp!”
“It’s important for us to support Habitat’s Aging in Place program and help our seniors in Harford and Cecil counties love living in their homes longer,” said Colleen B. Penhall, Lowe’s Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility.
More than 80 percent of older Americans want to age in their own homes, but increasingly mobility challenges, chronic medical issues and exorbitant health care costs can make aging in place for low-income older Americans seem out of reach. Habitat for Humanity’s Aging in Place provides critical home repairs such as making bathrooms more accessible, repairing staircases to be more stable, widening hallways or upgrading electrical systems, so that homeowners can live in their houses longer.
A national Habitat for Humanity partner since 2003, Lowe’s has committed more than $63 million to help more than 17,000 families improve their living conditions. Each year, Lowe’s provides grants and volunteer assistance to local affiliates, supports National Women Build Week and conducts how-to clinics at stores to teach volunteers construction skills.