Collaboration between St. Joseph County and Lake County
Recently, the SAWs St. Joseph team installed a ramp for thirteen-year-old Giuliana, who suffered from a spinal cord injury when her family’s vehicle was hit head-on by a drunk driver and is now confined to a wheelchair. Giuliana’s mother struggled to get her in and out of the home even when using the front door.
The temporary fix was a metal wheelchair ramp that was donated to the Lake County SAWs team by a widow who had purchased it for her late husband. The SAWs Lake County Area Coordinator, Kathy Giannini, worked with the SAWs St. Joseph Area Coordinator, Frank Aquila, to get the ramp from Lake County to Giuliana’s home in St. Joseph County using a local U-Haul truck and trailer that was graciously donated to move the ramp.
Kathy met Frank at the family’s temporary home to deliver the ramp. To make the temporary ramp functional a small wooden platform was constructed, and now Giuliana was free to leave her home without the help of her mother. She zipped up and down the ramp with confidence and smiled from ear to ear.
This collaboration was a win-win for all parties. Not only was SAWs able to help Giuliana provide freedom at her temporary home, but when the family moves to their permanent home, SAWs will be there to build Giuliana a permanent ramp and then reuse the metal ramp for another client in need…. paying it forward.