Teens and Veterans and Inmates!
– Working Together to Get it Done
Low-income people with disabilities continue to reach out to SAWs® by the hundreds across the state. While SAWs has more than 500 volunteers
statewide, it still isn’t enough to meet the need of these folks who are trapped in their homes by their disabilities. Part of the mission of SAWs is to establish partnerships with and be a resource to organizations that provide safe housing, community development and job or skills train- ing for those they serve, particularly veterans and at-risk youth. So SAWs is exploring creative ways to meet the growing need for volunteer support through partnerships.
In South Bend, Carpenter’s Hands of Granger Commu- nity Church, the St. Joseph County SAWs af liate, led by Frank Aquilla, is tapping into several sources for vol- unteer help. Veterans are playing their part in the South Bend effort. “The SAW’s Team of St. Joe County, IN, powered by Carpenter’s Hands of Granger Community Church, the U.S. Marine Corps, Miller’s Vets, and DLZ Associates is comprised of a handful of gal’s and guy’s with big hearts. But we are looking for a few more good women and men to drive this serving ministry (teens and adults),” said Aquilla. In 2011, Carpenter’s Hands spent 11 months completely renovating a donated multistory building in downtown South Bend to provide housing for homeless veterans. Last year they renovated a smaller former storage facility into a Recreation Center for those
same veterans. In response to this wonderful gift, several of the veterans who have bene tted from these facilities are now “paying it forward” by participating in ramp builds to help others.
The University of Notre Dame’s American Society of Civil Engineers’ student chapter along with the alumni chapter from South Bend are pitching in to help catch up with the backlog of requests. The Medical Foundation of South Bend is one of the area businesses whose em- ployees are lending their sweat and efforts.
SAWs – Vigo County faces a demand for ramps that
is staggering. There are close to 45 individuals that are patiently waiting to regain their freedom, independence and relief for their families. But the volunteer force there
Employing the inmates of IDOC gives them the chance
to experience the transforming power of serving others
is not large enough. In early June that took a marked turn for the better. The Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle, Indiana agreed to help in several ways.
First they have agreed to utilize inmates that are not
allowed to leave the facility to prefabricate most of the
needed ramps within the prison. Second, they agreed to
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