Louisville volunteers build wheelchair ramp for Mother's Day - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville volunteers build wheelchair ramp for Mother's Day

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Paul and Mary Smith Paul and Mary Smith
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville woman will be able to spend this Mother's Day with her family in her own home, instead of in a nursing home. And it is all thanks to the kindness of strangers.

We often bring you stories on acts of kindness, but this one hit really close to home. Employees at a home improvement store heard about the situation, and offered to volunteer their time and services to help the mother of a WDRB employee get home.

"It has been extremely long and hard journey," said Paul Smith.

Paul and Mary Smith are just about at the end of that long journey.

"I've been in and out of the hospital for six weeks," says Mary Smith.

But getting home is going to be a challenge because when Mary is released from the rehab hospital on Friday, she'll use a wheelchair.

"It was extremely frustrating because we didn't know how we were going to get her home," said Paul Smith, who has been looking into wheelchair ramps and hit several dead ends before finding help at a local home improvement store.

"We went and stopped there and told them our story, what we needed and what was going on," he said.

"He and his son approached me and wanted to see if there was something that we could provide -- our service for installing a handicap ramp," said Home Depot manager D.J. Schworm.

"And they told us, 'well, we really don't do that,' but said 'looks like you all have really had a hard day,'" Paul Smith said.

"In seeing the distressed look on their face, they looked like they were just completely worn out with everything that has been going on with them," Schworm said.

"I said, 'ma'am, you don't know how hard this day has been,'" Paul Smith said.

"I got with my managers and we started talking to a couple of other stores to see if it was something that we could do for them," explained Schworm.

"And she said, 'I'll tell you what we're going to do. We got a crew that, every now and then we can go out and help people in the community that need some help, and you look like you could use some help,' she said," Paul Smith recounted.

And Wednesday morning, help arrived from a handful of employees donating their time and talent and all of the material donated by the store.

"It feels great, talking to Mary on the phone the last two days and her saying how thankful she is, it makes it worth while," Schworm said.

"I told them I don't need anything else, just to be home on Mother's Day," said Mary Smith.

The volunteers say the ramp should be finished long before Mother's Day.

Mary Smith is scheduled to be released from the rehab hospital on Friday.

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