Meeting an Overwhelming Need for Help
In the past, the foundation has helped victims of crime, such as those from the Columbine tragedy, or people affected by other tragic circumstances who find themselves in need of remodeling to maintain some independence.
Help has also been given to people with quadriplegia, diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and many other ailments. The foundation enjoys broad community support, thanks to the tremendous generosity of its donors.
Throughout last year, the call for projects has almost overwhelmed the foundation, and Barnes has appeared at several council functions asking for our help. She offered to pay us for the work, and although the council gives the foundation a large discount, many of us just find tremendous satisfaction in improving the lives of people with disabilities and their gratitude for our good work.
Home Modifications for a World-Class Wheelchair Athlete
One foundation project that my company, Churchill Construction, recently completed involved making home modifications for world-class wheelchair athlete Monica Bascio, a hand cyclist who recently won her second consecutive Midnight Sun UltraChallenge, a 267-mile, six-stage race from Fairbanks to Anchorage, AK.
The modifications included building a platform, building a ramp, removing carpeting, installing hardwood flooring and installing a new tub and shower.
The platform was installed between Bascio’s master bedroom and the garage where her laundry facilities were located, bypassing a seven-and-a-half-inch step. While Bascio has been strong enough to hoist herself over the step whenever she does laundry, we thought that continuously hauling herself over the step potentially could become a safety issue, so we built the platform.
We also built a ramp from the platform into the garage and then carpeted the ramp so Bascio could remove mud and debris easily from her wheelchair tires before entering her house.
Inside her home, however, we removed carpeting because hard surfaces are preferable to carpeting for people in wheelchairs. In many areas, we exposed existing hardwood flooring when we removed the carpeting. In other areas, we added new hardwood flooring.
In the master bathroom, we installed a jetted tub that will help Bascio with lower body circulation. Our shower door and mirror trade contractor also helped. He donated a custom shower door — valued at $2,700 — that allows a full 46 ½-inch entry into a new shower.
Our company also built a new entry deck larger than the original on the house, and of course it includes a ramp down to the main sidewalk leading to the front door.
Education Plays a Role in Community Service
While the foundation always has focused on its community service functions, it has recently begun providing education opportunities to council members. I saw this as an opportunity to discuss CAPS designation with Barnes. As education chairman of the council last year, I brought Jud Motsenbocker, CGR, CAPS, to teach the CAPS courses to 29 students and told Barnes about it.
After the successful CAPS course, I thought, “Well, that’ll do it for CAPS for a couple of years,” but Barnes quickly saw the role that educated professionals can play in community service. Imagine my surprise when the foundation asked me to bring the CAPS courses here again this summer. It was with great pleasure that we hosted Mike Weiss, CGR, GMB, CAPS, in July.
As you can see, our council, the foundation and its clients have developed a relationship that is —and will always be — win, win, win.
David Mathews, CGR, CAPS, is president of Churchill Construction, in Denver. He was the 2002 Remodelors™ Council chairman of the HBA of Metro Denver and an NAHB national director. For more information, e-mail Mathews.
The Remodelors™ Council of Metro Denver recently earned a CADRE award for its community service efforts with the Home Builders Foundation. To read more about the 2004 CADRE award winners in this issue, click here.
The NAHB University of Housing Offers Designation Programs and Other Courses
The NAHB University of Housing offers CAPS, CGR, CGB and a variety of other professional designation programs and business management courses that set builders and remodelers apart from the competition. To learn more about NAHB’s designation programs, visit www.nahb.org/designations. For a complete list of all current education offerings, click here.
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