Local Donors Fund Home Modifications for Vets

The Ability Center’s Home Accessibility Program was honored to connect donors, Paul and Stephany Johnson, to three deserving veterans, changing their lives forever.

When asked why they choose to help veterans through our programs, the Johnsons state, “The more you give, the more you get.” Paul had two uncles in World War II, so the call for service has spanned generations. Paul is a U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and double Purple Heart recipient.

From one veteran to another, the family is carrying on a tradition of selfless service to others.

Below are the stories of three men who will be forever provided the security of home accessibility.

Don Schaldach
With one simple phrase, an instant bond was sparked. Don and his wife, Fran, have called the waterfront town of Port Clinton, OH, home for the past 20 years. First discovering The Ability Center (ACT) services through their family doctor, the pair sought handrails to keep them safe entering and exiting their home. After learning they were over income for ACT’s grant requirements, they moved to plan B. Don and Fran hired a private contractor to assemble stairs on their home but soon learned it wasn’t a perfect solution.

Harry Reichow
Before receiving assistance from The Ability Center’s Home Accessibility Program, the Reichows found getting out of their home taxing and dangerous to their health. Because of the Johnson’s desire to help local veterans, this is no longer the case. An AlumiRamp was built on the couple’s trailer, making each step, a step toward independence. Having a ramp will keep Harry and his wife, Diane, active and engaged in their community. Diane volunteers at rummage sales at their church, Little Flower, while Harry is involved with veterans’ groups such as Veterans of Foreign Wars and Argon Post. Participation in the annual Memorial Day service is a yearly staple in the couple’s calendar.

Richard Pilgrim
When Richard Pilgrim became connected to The Ability Center’s Home Accessibility Program, our staff was able to do what we do best: make people’s homes safer. Richard’s house has been in his family since his parents purchased it in 1958. Progressive arthritis and a bout with prostate cancer left Richard looking for assistance with mobility around the house. “I can only stand for a short period of time. Big steps are my worst enemy,” Richard confesses. His nurse at Mercy Health suggested researching local resources to help and soon discovered the wide array of services ACT provides. While his application was determined ineligible, the Johnsons stepped in to cover the cost. The ramp has changed Richard’s life in more ways than one.

Contact us to learn more about funding a ramp or donate to our other Ability Center programs.