Volunteers John Barnhart, Jim Toth and Frank Maley build a wheelchair ramp through the COA Handy Helpers program.

Archived Story

The dignity of freedom

Published 9:15pm Thursday, July 12, 2012

Most people don’t give a second thought to going out the front door of their home and going wherever they want.
However, there are many people in Cass County who may use a wheelchair but have only steps available at the doors to their homes. Others may be weak and need a handrail for balance and safety.
Many older adults rely on family members and friends to get them in and out. It can be difficult, and in an emergency, it could be very dangerous.
The Council on Aging’s Handy Helpers program has saved the day for more than 60 Cass County seniors and their families by building wheelchair ramps to provide access, safety and peace of mind.
Handy Helpers are volunteers, and they’re giving more than their time — they’re giving freedom and dignity to many.
It’s amazing to see the eyes of someone whose world just opened up. Each time a ramp is built, that’s what we see.
Handy Helpers not only build ramps, but also help older adults with minor home maintenance and repairs. Though they can’t make major repairs, these men and women help people stay safe in their homes. Handy Helpers runs on volunteer power and is supported by donations because we don’t want cost to prevent someone from being safe.
Call the COA at 445-8110 for more information about the Handy Helpers program, or other programs to help older adults and the people who care for them.

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