Opus Ramp Team Builds Two More Ramps

This month, the Opus Ramp Team built a ramp for Jacqueline in Roseville. WCCO came out to film the ramp and put together a great piece about our work to help older adults and individuals living with a disability live more independently and how that work will be supported by the Hook, Line, & Shelter Fishing Tournament. You can check out that piece HERE.

In addition, the Opus Ramp Team and Lead Volunteer Chris Reiss built a ramp for Salley in May. They also fixed some paneling on the exterior of the home. The homeowner’s daughter wrote us this lovely thank you note, “I just wanted to thank you for fixing the paneling on our house. Also, my mom and I really appreciate the ramp. I’m able to get her outside in front, which is really nice (weather permitting). Also, we get a lot of compliments about the ramp.”

Thank you to the Ramp Team volunteers and Chris for two more life-changing projects!

The Opus Group Gives Back

Rain and snow didn’t stop us from kicking off our 21st build season with volunteers from The Opus Group on April 20th to commemorate their Founders Day! With the support of The Opus Group, we were able to provide much-needed repairs to the homes of two low-income homeowners and establish a Garden Classroom and Learning area at the Maplewood Middle School.

We helped Mary Anne in Saint Paul, a grandmother who is currently providing housing for her daughter and five grandchildren. Mary Anne’s garage roof was damaged by storms and has been cited by the City for repair. We stripped the old shingles off of the garage and replaced them.

We also helped Diana, a senior veteran who lives with a disability in Minneapolis. We replaced all of the windows in the home with energy-efficient windows.

Finally, we established a Garden Classroom and Learning Area at the Maplewood Middle School, which is economically and racially-diverse with 53% of the school identifying as non-white and 63% of the students receiving free or reduced lunch. In addition, 13% of the students receive some type of special education. The school had space to establish a garden classroom that will provide hands-on learning opportunities to accompany their science curriculum. We landscaped, made improvements to the outdoor amphitheater, and created an open-air classroom.

We are incredibly grateful for the support of The Opus Group and the hard work of their volunteers! Together, we have made a meaningful difference for two homeowners in need and the students who attend Maplewood Middle School!

The Opus Group Makes a Difference on Founder’s Day

On Friday, April 21st, we partnered with volunteers from The Opus Group to provide much-needed home repairs for two South Minneapolis homeowners in need and make improvements to a charter school in East Saint Paul.

One of the homeowners we helped is Celeste, who moved into her South Minneapolis home in 1967 and raised her family there. Now a grandmother and widow (her husband was an Army veteran), Celeste remains an active member of the community in her golden years. She has taken on a leadership role within her church and volunteered many hours at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, until mobility issues forced her to step aside two years ago. These same mobility issues have prevented her from using the rear-entry steps to her backyard for over a year.  Volunteers from The Opus Group made accessibility modifications to the front and rear entries so Celeste can safely and independently come and go from her home and made several other repairs to her home.

We also helped Carolyn, who has lived in her South Minneapolis home for more than 20 years. A retired nurse, Carolyn now suffers from severe arthritis that has greatly limited her mobility. She loves her home, is surrounded by friendly neighbors, and is close to grocers, the library, and her church; however, getting around is a significant challenge. She has fallen in her home several times, and is now wheelchair-bound when going outside.  Volunteers from The Opus Group made accessibility modifications to the front and rear entries of Carolyn’s home, so she can leave her home independently; painted her kitchen walls and ceiling; installed new light fixtures; replaced storm windows; and replaced flooring in the living room and kitchen.

The Opus Group also made improvements at the Twin Cities Academy, a charter school located in East Saint Paul. Volunteers helped established a garden classroom on the site of the school, which will provide hands-on learning activities to accompany and enhance the science curriculum. Volunteers spent the day building and installing raised bed garden plots, an open-air classroom with benches, compost bins, walking paths, and arbors and trellises.

We are incredibly grateful for the support of The Opus Group and the hard work of their volunteers!  Together, we have made a meaningful difference for two homeowners in need and the students served by the Twin Cities Academy!

The Opus Group Gives Back

On Friday, April 22nd, we partnered with volunteers from The Opus Group to provide repairs for three low-income homeowners and needed renovations to the Boys and Girls Club.

One of the homeowners we helped was Carter, who has lived in his home for 59 years. In 2008 while training for the World Masters Track Championship in Paris, Carter suffered a massive heart attack. It left him deprived of oxygen for 10 minutes. This caused significant motor impairments and speech difficulties. He now uses a rolling walker and has multiple grab bars placed throughout his home to ensure safety in areas where his rolling walker is not accessible. Carter gets out in the community whenever he can, and he looks forward to continuing to be active in his home and community. Volunteers worked on constructing a ramp, painted several rooms, and organized the basement. We also provided several contractor-delivered repairs to Carter’s home, including installing a new electrical box, mast, track/task lighting, motion light and flat surface non-open flame electric stove.

Volunteers also made repairs for Erskine and Beverly, who raised 13 children in their home.  Beverly and Erskine are retired, active in their church and frequently take care of their grandchildren.  They both have medical issues that prevent them from moving around easily, and their home needed several repairs and modifications so they can remain in their home for years to come. Volunteers worked to rebuild basement steps, build low-rise steps, paint the interior, seal the foundation, and clean-up vines in the gutters.  We were also able to repair plumbing at the home.

In addition, we helped Yvonne and Charles, who built their Saint Paul home in 1986. They love their home and are proud of the fact that they have made their own modifications. However, they needed help preparing for Yvonne’s mother, who will be moving into the home in the spring. Yvonne’s mother is an amputee and uses a motorized wheelchair. Volunteers worked to construct a wheelchair ramp, repair siding, and started to convert their tub into a walk-in shower.

Finally, volunteers provided needed renovations to the Boys and Girls Club, including painting the gym, redesigning and decorating the Discovery Room and recarpeting the Teen Room.

We are incredibly grateful for the support of The Opus Group and the hard work of their volunteers!  Together, we have made a meaningful difference for three families in need and the youth served by the Boys and Girls Club.