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updated: 1/26/2014 5:56 PM

Agency to build ramps for disabled vets; volunteers needed

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HandsOn Suburban Chicago

HandsOn Suburban Chicago was named the recipient of the Celebration of Service Grant awarded by the Home Depot Foundation for their "Operation Ramp It Up" Project which will provide two area veterans with an accessibility ramp for their homes.

"Operation Ramp it Up" will be a collaborative effort with Vaughan Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America, (www.vaughnpva.org) and HandsOn Suburban Chicago, (www.HandsOnSuburbanChicago.org) the organization that will administer and manage the project.

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Paralyzed Veterans of America will help identify and select the two area veteran recipients and HandsOn Suburban Chicago will recruit volunteers to assist in executing the projects which will take place on April 26 and 27. Ideally, HOSC would like veteran volunteers to help in this project but the opportunity is open to anyone who would like to help and has some skill or interest in building ramps. Volunteer descriptions and details are available at www.HandsOnSuburbanChicago.org.

For more information specific to this project, contact Lydia.leffelman@volunteerinfo.net or call (847) 228-1320, ext. 104.

The funder for this project is The Home Depot Foundation (www.homedepotfoundation.org). Since 2002, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $340 million in local communities to build and renovate homes for deserving families; transform local parks and playgrounds; and repair community facilities.

The Home Depot Foundation has committed $80 million over five years to nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the homes of economically disadvantaged veterans and whose mission is to make sure every veteran has a safe place to call home.

The foundation awarded the grant in the form of $4,000 in gift cards in order to purchase the building supplies for the ramps at any Home Depot store. The labor will be provided by volunteers, recruited and led by HandsOn Suburban Chicago and volunteer team leaders.

According to disability statistics published by Disabled World in 2013, just over 6.8 million Americans use assistive devices to help them with mobility. Even more striking is the statistic that about half of wheelchair users must use steps to enter or exit their homes.

For over 40 years, HandsOn Suburban Chicago (HOSC) has been inspiring, equipping and mobilizing people to volunteer and take action that builds vibrant and prosperous communities. HOSC recruits and refers 10,000 volunteers annually to over 200 member agency nonprofits and schools, and provides other support to local charitable organizations, such as consultations and trainings. A nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency and part of the national HandsOn Network, HOSC service area includes 44 core communities in the Chicago area and a population of over 1.4 million residents.

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