At 1 o’clock, the Hodgkin brothers and The Regulars, a team of retired volunteers, finished building a ramp for Jonathan Hodgkin. At 1:05 p.m., Jonathan arrived home.
“It was a God-send to have that ramp when I got in. It gave me a chance to thank them all,” Hodgkin said in a news release.
Hodgkin had been in the hospital for three months. At the very end of his stay, Jonathan’s leg was amputated and his brothers started planning for a ramp, so he could come home safely. They had some materials and skills, but needed help. They called the Community Housing Improvement Project (CHiP).
It is difficult to get projects done this time of year. But this time, with some dedication and luck, all the pieces fell into place. The Regulars, all in their 70s and 80s worked one very cold day and then rearranged their schedules to come back and finish the ramp before bad weather and Jonathan’s homecoming.
Partnering with the Hodgkin brothers to design and build a ramp, the project was completed, incredibly, in just over a week from the initial call.
After months of prayer, Hodgkin and his extended family are relieved to have him home. Hodgkin and his brothers are now making his home wheelchair accessible. The couch has been moved out of the living room and the bed brought downstairs. They even power-planed the bathroom doorway, so he can get in and out.
Hodgkin is eager to get back to work at Mid-Coast Machine. He is even hoping that he can build an aluminum ramp one day, using his skills. “It would be a chance to give back,” he says, for when someone else comes home and needs a safe entry.
Getting help begins with leaving a message at the CHiP voicemail at 677-3450.
To volunteer with firewood deliveries or home repairs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 677-3450. Donations can be made to CHiP, PO Box 6, Newcastle, ME 04553. More information at chipinc.org.