Brothers get new, improved wheelchair ramp after previous ramp stolen
Volunteers, donated materials make new ramp
Last Updated: 214 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - What started out as a heartless theft led to a happy ending Wednesday.
For two weeks, all Dennis Garner and his brother Raymond could do was watch the world from their front porch after someone stole their aluminum wheelchair ramp.
"They're prisoners in their own home," said Rik Hagarty, with Servants At Work.
Within hours of hearing about the theft, volunteers sprang into action, taking measurements and getting permits to start building the brothers a new ramp.
The construction took just one day, with all the labor and materials being donated.
"It's kind of hard to describe. It's just great to live in a community where people step up to help, and that's what I'm really proud of," said Kent McCool, with Home Safe Homes.
"Being able to help them get out and rejoin their community, get some semblance of normalcy in their lives, it's a much greater reward for us than it is for them," Hagarty said.
The ramp that was stolen was a small, fold-up piece of aluminum. The new one is made of solid wood, and it's worth much more and much sturdier.
"The one that they had was dangerous," Hagarty said.
"Oh, it's wonderful. It's absolutely wonderful," Dennis Garner said when he saw the new ramp.
What started as a heartless theft has turned into an answered prayer for Dennis and Raymond. With their independence back, they had a message to those who made it happen:
"Thank you, and God bless them," Dennis Garner said.
The aluminum ramp did not meet federal guidelines, but the new one does.
With labor and materials, the new wheelchair ramp is worth about $4,000.
Metro police are still looking for the thieves who stole the old ramp.
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