Empathy in action: Hartselle men build wheelchair ramp for disabled neighbor
When Scotty Kelsoe got a phone call from an old friend that an elderly lady in the area was in need of a wheelchair ramp at their home, he did not hesitate to jump into action.
“I went to school with her and had built a ramp at her place some years ago and she called to say she knew of an elderly woman in need of a wheelchair ramp. She said she wasn’t financially able to get one built and wanted to know if I knew anyone that could help her,” he said.
That afternoon Kelsoe went and looked at the porch in need of a ramp and decided he wanted to help. As soon as he got home he posted on his personal Facebook page asking for volunteers to help with the expense of materials and to help on the building project.
“I posted that on Facebook and the first person that texted me back on that was Matthew Mcmillan of Mcmillan’s Crafts,” Kelso said. “I didn’t know Matthew at all and I wasn’t sure if he would show up, but he said that if I could get the material he would come help me build it.”
After talking with Mcmillan, Kelsoe had a call from Brandon Pace in Moulton offering to donate half of the lumber. His next stop was Corum’s Building Supplies in order to get prices and make an order for supplies.
“I told Kevin there at Corum’s that I was building a ramp for a disabled lady and getting stuff donated. He looked at the list and told the lady there I was going to get some material and to donate it to me for a good cause.”
Kelsoe did not know the person he was helping but he says he has a passion for helping disabled members of the community, having been affiliated with Hands of a Sportsman for years. Hands of a Sportsman is a North Carolina-based organization that takes disabled children and adults, as well as disabled and able-bodied veterans to the outdoors on hunts at no cost. “We get them out in the outdoors and give them a chance to enjoy the outdoors. We do about fifteen dream hunts a year, so my passion is helping the disabled community and I’ve been doing that for four years,” he said.
Kelsoe and Mcmillan started building the ramp at 8 a.m. this past Friday morning and had a completed project by 11:15 a.m., but Kelsoe says his phone has been ringing off the hook with people asking if they still needed help or were doing any more projects. With the support they have received from the community and seeing the great need in the area, Kelsoe and Mcmillan have decided to start a Facebook group called Morgan County Mobility Missions where people can go to share their needs and to offer their resources and time for future projects.
“We really want people to know it’s not about me and Matthew building stuff for people we know or something. It’s all about the community,” Kelsoe said.
The pair are planning another build this Saturday in Danville.