SAIL and Carpenters for Christ partner for life-changing projects

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The partnership between the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Service’s SAIL/Homebound program and Carpenters for Christ has had an enormous impact on River Region residents.

The crew was in action again Monday, Aug. 5, when they constructed a 68-foot ramp for a consumer in Montgomery.

The ramp, Carpenters for Christ co-founder Glen Baggett said, was their largest project to date. Fortunately, with a crew of almost 20 workers, the project was still completed in a day.

SAIL Independent Living Specialist Raven Hardy said the consumer was referred to the program because she qualified for Independent Living and a SAIL waiver.

“Because she was referred to us for medical supplies and a ramp, we talked to her and realized she is using a wheelchair and has not been able to get in and out of her home,” she said.

Once the application was in place, Hardy said they established a plan of support and had a ramp at the top of the list.

Carpenters for Christ workers said they receive about 90 percent of their project requests from SAIL. The partnership began with former Independent Living Specialist Sharon Weaver and has continued through the years.

Hardy said the volunteers are enthusiastic about the partnership and work well with ADRS staff to plan the best product possible for consumers.

“Mr. Baggett works well with Christopher Roesch, who is our (ADRS rehabilitation) engineer,” she said. “They are able to go and measure and plan together, especially with a difficult ramp like this one.”

This particular home was a challenge because of a steep drop off in the yard, but this did not stop the crew from establishing an effective plan and getting the job done.

Carpenters for Christ, which operates through Tallassee First Baptist Church, began with wheelchair ramp projects several years ago when Baggett’s daughter Angie, an Alabama Department of Corrections employee, discussed the needs of a coworker’s family member. Another DOC employee who is paralyzed informed Angie that ADRS might be able to provide support.

Baggett said when he and Weaver connected, she was excited about the opportunity to work with the group.

“When I mentioned ramps, her eyes lit up,” he said. “We have been building ramps for (ADRS) ever since.”

Because so many volunteer, the group usually completes projects within a day.

Donations are accepted to supplement the needs that are not covered by ADRS. Supporters can visit the church or mail donations to First Baptist Church, 1279 Friendship Road, Tallassee, AL 36078.

Another option is visiting www.fbctallassee.com and clicking the “give” tab at the top of the page. The options will allow donors to specify where they would like their money applied.

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