Last week, 11 PVs converged on Aurora, IL for a week of service and a very special project. During the week volunteers worked with Hesed House, first helping with their annual “Hike for Hesed” and then by providing, preparing and serving lunch for more than 100 people. Ahead of the week, volunteers planned the meal and purchased the food so they would be ready to go when it was time to prepare and serve. While there, they got a tour of Hesed House and met a lot of wonderful and inspiring people. Hesed House has been a part of the PV Aurora Week since we started it 5 years ago.
The big project of the week was building a wheelchair ramp for a family in Aurora. The family includes an 18 year son who is in a wheelchair and a father who is blind. They have an electric wheelchair lift to get into the house, but the lift does not always work and the family often has to wait for hours in their car until help can come. We witnessed the failure of the lift while we were there and the son returned home from school and wanted to get into the house. The process which should take a couple of minutes ended up taking a longer as the lift did not want to work. The ramp that the volunteers were building during the week will give the son a lot more freedom and his mom a lot less worry. While we have done ramps many times in West Virginia, this ramp was a whole new challenge as we were working in a city with codes, permits and inspections, not to mention a limited amount of time. With a lot of prep work planning and organizing and volunteers willing to work longer hours than our usual PV day, we were able to get through the second of three inspections and get all but the last stretch of deck boards down and the railing tops installed. The ramp is in great hands for finishing touches, as the family and their friends were working alongside the PVs the whole time and will be able to finish the project. A big thank you to the family and friends for not only working alongside us, but for providing us with lunch each day and well as cold water on the hot days!
We will post more pictures as we get them, but enjoy a few from the last few days.