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The George Henry White Memorial Health and Education Center desperately needed handicap access--and a powerful crew of skilled builders answered the call. With over 400 handicap ramps to their credit, this amazing team from Bay Leaf Builders ministry drove 2 hours, bringing all their tools, and built a strong and easily accessed ramp in a single day!
It all started when volunteer Tom Adams, who previously came to install hardware and do numerous "finishes" for the kitchen and bath areas, heard about the need for a handicap ramp for the George Henry White Memorial Health and Education Center. He contacted Bay Leaf Builders, a ministry of the Bay Leaf Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, and they quickly committed to installing a ramp for this grassroots project. The Bay Leaf Builders strive to show Christian love to those in need by using carpentry skills to bless others in their time of need. Since 2008, the team has built 442 handicap ramps for senior adults and others needing assistance and they partner with other organizations which have construction and repair needs. They share Scripture and prayer through their outreach, inspired by the text of 1 John 3:18 “...Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
"These guys are AMAZING," said Vince Spaulding, the project leader. "They came at 8 in the morning, wouldn't even stop for breakfast, and just started working right away. Some of these guys have built hundreds of ramps, so they knew exactly what they were doing. They gave us a complete list of every piece of lumber and hardware needed, which we had bought and ready for them. Then, they went to work. It was amazing to watch them go to work. They are like a well-oiled machine! By the end of the day, they had completed a sturdy ramp with two ascending Z-type sections."
This crew does one project every other week. The biggest surprise of the day (besides completing a long-needed project in record time) is that the Bay Leaf Builders saw the weakened front porch--and offered to come back to rebuild it! "These are two of the biggest needs we had to enable this 120 year old building to be usable by the entire community," said Vince. "With a strong front porch, and with a sturdy and usable handicap access ramp, we will be able to serve people of all mobility levels. This has been the missing piece, and we are so extremely grateful to these powerful and Godly brothers for helping us create a place to serve our long-neglected community."
Not to be outdone, local community members turned out to support these tough angels. A full meal was cooked for them and served by Barbara Troy and Mary Simmons, who are two of the most active local supporters for the project. The hardy workers sat together to enjoy the baked chicken, mixed squash, potato salad, bread, pound cake and iced tea. "It was delicious and very much appreciated," said the workers. Ocie Jones, local superintendent, was on hand to support the logistics, along with Ernie Freeman, and Vince Spaulding took photos to record the amazing events of the day.
The George Henry White Memorial Health and Education Center, 731 Farmers Union Road, Clarkton, NC honors the legacy of the courageous Roslindale native son who served as the lone African American Congressman, 1897-1901. The center will provide much needed services and opportunities to the people of the Bladen and Columbus County areas.