March 4, 2021

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Beauty Made Perfect

Des Plaines Neighborhood Foundation, Jen University learners create ramp for disabled resident

Steven Moraitis is likely to be far more cellular in 2021 many thanks to the Des Plaines Local community Basis and volunteer Paul Bartholomae, also recognized as “Ramp Gentleman.”

Moraitis’s daily life transformed a few several years back as he was driving by means of the metropolis of Chicago. According to Beth Ulloa, Moraitis’s mom, he acquired caught in crossfire amongst police and gangs. Moraitis was shot in the head and was badly injured. The stray bullet entered driving his remaining ear.

He survived and has been undergoing rehab. He is presently employing a motorized wheelchair to go to doctor appointments.

But having him in and out of the household proved difficult.

“Retired instructor Paul Bartholomae, who is acknowledged to the Des Plaines Local community Foundation as the ‘Ramp Man’ in Des Plaines, was there as normal providing his ramp-developing knowledge,” mentioned Rosemary Argus, government director of the Des Plaines Local community Foundation.

“The Ramp Program at the Des Plaines Group Foundation is a good asset for the local community and for the learners who are eager to discover development skills,” mentioned Argus.

For the past 25 many years, Bartholomae has volunteered his products and services, operating intently with the Des Plaines Group Basis and developing-trade students to assemble steel and wooden wheelchair ramps in Des Plaines.

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He has been retired for the earlier 4 and a 50 % yrs from Maine West Higher School, but now will work with the students at Jen Faculty.

“When Steven came dwelling from the rehab facility, I called the community outreach at the city of Des Plaines and spoke with Kathy Puetz, neighborhood social employee at the Health and Human Products and services place of work,” explained Ulloa. “That was how it began.”

The city’s Department of Wellness and Human Expert services forwards requests for wheelchair ramps to Argus and the Des Plaines Group Foundation, which relays them to Bartholomae.

“What would make the method so thriving is the cooperation between the college students,” mentioned Bartholomae, a 35-yr veteran teacher from Maine West Higher College.

Ulloa is also disabled and has trouble navigating the stairs of her Des Plaines residence of 9 years. She is caring for her son just after the accident. Steven also has two modest kids that usually take a look at their father, she explained.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

“Ulloa and son were applying two expandable scaffolding planks to get Steven in his wheelchair to his health practitioner appointments,” Argus claimed. “It is really a surprise they did not have an incident.”

Paul’s son, Sean Bartholomae, also assisted with the set up of Steven’s ramp.

“My son was the position coach for some of my more mature projects when we had immediately after-college grants to make equally metal and wooden ramps and sheds,” claimed Bartholomae.

“Sean arrives to the task web site and takes about and receives the career completed,” claimed Bartholomae. “He rescues me when I need to have to be rescued. I do the job forward, so when he comes, he can knock it out in a day.

“We saved about $1,800 by employing leftover elements from other ramps designed, which have been returned when they ended up no for a longer time essential,” stated Bartholomae. “My daughters, Bridget and Heather, as nicely as my grandchildren Miles and Cloe, helped transport the 8-foot ramp and the 5-by-5-foot platforms we ended up capable to use for the second time.”

Ironically, this ramp was about 4 blocks absent from the 1st ramp designed 25 a long time back. This is the 56th ramp the Des Plaines Neighborhood Basis has constructed with the help of creating-trade college students.

Jen College students worked on the pre-assembly of the metal ramp elements at the warehouse at Maryville. The learners worked for two days assembling the ramp so it was completely ready to set with each other on-web site.

“The approach has been to divvy up jobs and provide unique strengths to the table. And they get the job done — just like a true-lifetime crew,” said Bartholomae. “It is seriously a arms-on working experience for some of these pupils, and the expertise can convert into a long run occupation.”

It can choose everywhere from 6 weeks for an aluminum ramp and three months to construct a wood ramp, based on the dimension.

“It usually means the globe to me to be in a position to get my son in and out of the house securely — like if there was a fireplace or an unexpected emergency,” reported Ulloa. “Especially now with his new motorized wheelchair that weighs around 344 lbs .. I am so grateful to absolutely everyone that served make this ramp doable. It definitely signifies a lot to me and my family.”

“The Des Plaines Neighborhood Foundation appreciates Paul Bartholomae, and sincerely many thanks him for his operate with the Jen School learners in Des Plaines,” explained Argus.

The supplies for the ramp totaled extra than $6,000, which was donated by the Des Plaines Community Basis.

“The ramps are the most vital detail we do for the Des Plaines residents in will need,” reported Bartholomae. “It gets a difficulty when the elderly or disabled can not get out of their residences to get to the health care provider.”

Bartholomae will keep on to volunteer his time with Jen University students. Numerous of them have preferential finding out models like fingers-on and visible learning. These option studying variations help expose the pupils to experiential learning.

“The wheelchair ramps allow individuals to go to the park or doctors’ appointments,” explained Argus. “The creating trades college students have touched the lives of people, young and previous, with various problems.”

Some of the Des Plaines Local community Foundation’s packages contain Neighbors Assisting Neighbors Software Committee Nutritious Community/Healthy Youth System Committee Intergenerational Program Committee, and Seasons of Services application Committee.

The foundation is 100% volunteer. The Des Plaines Local community Basis is a 501c3 organization and funds are obtained from persons, enterprises and corporate tax-deductible contributions, as perfectly as from other foundations.

For facts, connect with Rosemary Argus at (847) 525-5566 or stop by www.desplainescommunityfoundation.org.