In March, the Florida Times Union ran an article on HFM when Kelly took over as our Executive Director. Jane was looking for a successor and I knew I wasn’t the one. Anyway, whenever HFM has media exposure we usually attract more need than support so in the past we have tried to stay under the radar. However, as the need grows, we know we can no longer stay quiet as we have to advocate for funds or the funds we have will be depleted, and we will not be able to carry out our mission of helping frail seniors stay in their homes.
Geraldine reached out to us in May and said she had read the March article in the T-U and she needed a wheelchair ramp. As usual, I sent her an assessment, Homeowner Agreement, and a Provider Release. We have to make sure we have the homeowner’s approval and we never know who will step up to build a ramp for our clients so we need a release to cover all our bases. I also told Geraldine that we have a long wait list, but after we receive all the paperwork, God always decides who is next to be served. Geraldine returned the paperwork immediately. She really needed that ramp.
About the same time, Shepherd of the Woods Lutheran Church reached out to us and said they wanted to get a team together to help us both fund and build a ramp. One of our volunteers, Lewis, who is a licensed general contractor, agreed to oversee the project. Since this was their first project with us the pastor wanted to find a location that was near the church. God knew Geraldine really was going to need this ramp. She was located a few miles from the church.
When I called Geraldine to tell her that a ramp was coming she said, “You’re not kidding me, are you?” She was so elated that she was going to have access to the outdoors again. It was going to be a few weeks before the ramp could be built, but help was definitely on the way.
While we were getting blueprints drawn, materials ordered, and the new volunteers screened, Geraldine, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, was struggling even more. Her sister had become suddenly ill and the family was challenged with getting Geraldine to the hospital as she desperately wanted to be near her sister. While this was accomplished, Geraldine had to cancel her doctor’s appointment that followed because she was too weak to try to get down her stairs any more.
When the ramp team arrived to begin construction, Geraldine shared that she was so thankful they were there. Her sister had died the day before. The funeral was to be the next day. Geraldine was going to be able to go to her sister’s funeral without fear of the steps between her door and the outside. Only God would know this. What a conductor in the symphony of life. What a blessing to be in the orchestra along with all of you.