DePuy Synthes Volunteers Build Ramp for Disabled Mentone Resident

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Successful Business Planning

Success is never an accident; you need the right people to make things happen.

Successful organizations don’t just happen. They’re the result of many contributing factors: meticulously-planned strategies, strong leadership, great attention to detail, willingness to go above and beyond…the list is extensive.

One aspect of a next-level organization that is often overlooked, though, is the impact high-caliber employees can have. When you look a company, you typically see the CEO, President, or another high-ranked executive highlighted for their altruistic endeavors; you rarely get to see the effect a company’s individual employees have on their communities.

In general, there tend to be two kinds of employees:  A) those who show up to work each day, get paid, and go home, and B) those who go the extra mile and contribute to the wellbeing of their neighbors.

At DePuy Synthes, social responsibility is a valued trait in all employees. DePuy, a globe-spanning orthopaedic and neurological company with humble origins in Warsaw, wants the actions of its employees to “move hand-in-hand” with their mission. This mission focuses on bringing patients the best and most advanced treatment technology possible; for DePuy, it’s all about increasing quality of life.

Last week, DePuy-employed volunteers showcased their dedication to living out their organization’s mission by building a ramp with Servants at Work, Inc. This particular ramp was built for Mentone resident Jimmy Nash, a former government driver with millions of miles driven without incident.

Nash in wheelchair on ramp

Jimmy Nash drove millions of miles during his career. Unfortunately, he recently lost his leg to peripheral artery disease.

Post-retirement, Jimmy lost his left leg to peripheral artery disease, a condition caused by years of poor circulation caused by the long hours spent sitting in his vehicle. Unfortunately, because he now uses a chair to get around, his home wasn’t exactly handicap-accessible. Jimmy’s front door was reachable only by his front steps – which was a challenge Jimmy’s chair couldn’t handle.

“Ever since I lost my leg, living in this house has been hard,” recalled Jimmy, who has lived in his current home since he moved to Indiana from Virginia in 2009.

When they heard about Jimmy’s needs, DePuy’s volunteers were eager to help out. Nick, who works in global marketing for DePuy, came out and helped prefabricate the materials on the Tuesday before the build.

“When I heard about the opportunity, I was excited to get the chance to help,” said Nick, a veteran who served 3 tours overseas.  “Volunteering is something that I know a lot of DePuy employees are passionate about. It gives you the opportunity to get out and about and help some people who really need it. We all want people to be willing to help us out in a pinch, so I think helping people out proactively is really important.”

Ardalan Vosoughi, Hayley Walkowski, and Liz Wiederhold all came out to the ramp build at Jimmy’s home on Friday. Each were relatively new to working at DePuy – eight months, one year, and two years of respective employment – but each had already come to value living out DePuy’s mission the same way Nick had.

“The looks you see on people’s faces when you’re doing something that’s valuable to them is very rewarding,” said Liz, who is project manager at DePuy.

Hayley, a manufacturing engineer, echoed Liz’s sentiments, also stating that the chance to change up her routine for a day “was very refreshing.”

Each volunteer was quickly put to work by Ron Richey, who coordinates SAWs builds in Kosciusko County. The DePuy employees started out laying deck boards, but quickly transitioned into working on access points, ensuring that the railings were even, and even helping Ron develop an unplanned side-ramp to give Jimmy access to his deck.

“The DePuy guys were great,” Ron said after the build. “It would have taken us twice as long to get this thing [the ramp] together without them.”

Ramp Build Group Photo

Thanks to DePuy and SAWs volunteers, Jimmy would once again have easy access to his home and his deck when his ramp was completed!

At the end of the day, the ramp looked marvelous. It had an incline level that was easy for Jimmy’s chair to scale and gave Jimmy a way to go to and from his house without risking injury.  Jimmy, who had watched the entire build, was ecstatic about how quickly and how well-done his ramp was.

“It’s probably only been a month since I applied,” he said. “I expected that it would take longer than that to get supplies and volunteers together.”

Thanks in part to the DePuy employees’ eagerness to serve, Jimmy didn’t have to wait.  Their care for the community was evident in their attitudes throughout the entire building process; they were fine representatives of the organization they worked for and showcased why DePuy has the excellent reputation it does.

If you are interested in contributing to the Kosciusko community like these volunteers, reach out and contact us! We are always looking for new volunteers to assist us with serving those in need.

DePuy Volunteer at work  DePuy Volunteer HammeringJimmy Using ramp  DePuy and SAWs volunteers drilling


If you would like to learn more about the ways HOW impacts our community or attend any of our classes, including our Home Energy Impact class or our Lifecycles of Homeownership class, please reach out to us! You can contact us at (574) 269-7641 ext. 106, fill out this form, or follow us on Facebook.  Additionally, you can come to our offices at 109 W Catherine St. Milford, IN 46542. We are always looking for donors and volunteers so that we can impact the lives of more people!
At Housing Opportunities of Warsaw, our mission is to encourage and expand safe and affordable housing by providing opportunity and choice through investment in people and communities.  Through educational courses, emergency home repair and home retrofit programs, assessing homes for health risks, and transitional housing, we are dedicated to helping our neighbors get through times of difficulty and become self-sufficient once more.

Our Programs: Ramp Up

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Our mobility is something that many take for granted. We walk up the steps to our house. We leave the house and go to doctor appointments. We go out and visit with our friends.

However, not everyone has the ability to do these things. Did you know that in Indiana alone, there are 488,000 people who deal with ambulatory issues – trouble walking that often requires a wheelchair, walker, or cane? Of that number, most are elderly, and 109,000 fall below the poverty line.

When you cannot easily access your home, your quality of life is severely diminished.

For those with ambulatory issues, decreased mobility makes it extremely difficult to go out and do the things one has done their entire life. Going to see the grandkids, going to church, shopping – all these things become borderline impossible if you have to crawl on your hands and knees to get down your front steps.

They are forced to make a choice: continue on with their lives but go through pain every time they want to leave the house, or rarely leave their home and live a lonely, isolated existence.

The best way to rectify situations like these is to build a ramp up to the front door. Unfortunately, the biggest obstacle between individuals and easy access to their home is often finances.

 

“Going to see the grandkids, going to church, shopping – all these things become borderline impossible if you have to crawl on your hands and knees to get down your front steps.”

Living with a disability is costly; in the U.S., the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that over 25% of all health care expenditures in the United

Before we built her a lamp, Emily had to literally crawl up and down her front steps. Thanks to SAWs and volunteers from the Bowen Center, she can now come and go from her home without pain.

States are related to disability. In Indiana, conservative estimates show that each person with disability pays nearly $6,500 per year in disability costs.

When you’re a low income household and have a disability, it can be hard to make ends meet. For many, especially low-income individuals with ambulatory issues, coming up with an extra $3,500-$8,000 for a new ramp just isn’t financially viable.

Home access for for those with ambulatory issues is a huge need that we at HOW want to help fill. By partnering with Servants at Work, Inc. (SAWs), an organization that has built over 2,000 ramps in Indiana since it began in 2003, we connect individuals in need of assistance with those willing to build a ramp for them – for free. With help from donors and volunteers who come alongside SAWs ramp designers to actually construct the ramps, we lead those in need back towards a healthy, sociable lifestyle.

Like most other large-scale issues, many people end up looking around for the person or group that will stand up and take initiative to solve the problem. Rik Hagarty, founder of SAWs, quotes Ronald Reagan and others when he asks potential partners, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

Be the “who.” Make “when,” now. Help us going forward and be the person or group that takes a stand for those who need it. You can donate to HOW and our other life-changing programs, or you can sign up to be a volunteer and work on ramps or other projects.


If you would like to learn more about the ways HOW impacts our community or attend any of our classes, including our Home Energy Impact class or our Lifecycles of Homeownership class, please reach out to us! You can contact us at (574) 269-7641 ext. 106, fill out this form, or follow us on Facebook.  Additionally, you can come to our offices at 109 W Catherine St. Milford, IN 46542. We are always looking for donors and volunteers so that we can impact the lives of more people!
At Housing Opportunities of Warsaw, our mission is to encourage and expand safe and affordable housing by providing opportunity and choice through investment in people and communities.  Through educational courses, emergency home repair and home retrofit programs, assessing homes for health risks, and transitional housing, we are dedicated to helping our neighbors get through times of difficulty and become self-sufficient once more.