Badin students build access for homebound military veteran

Credit: Journal News


Credit: Journal News

They raise funds, then put together ramp with help of adult supervisors from local nonprofit.

Some area high school seniors volunteered Monday to help an elderly, disabled military veteran by building a wheelchair ramp to free him from being homebound.

The Badin High School teens had earlier started a GoFundMe page and raised more than $2,500 to pay for the ramp they assembled — with help from adult supervisors from the local “Operation Ramp It Up” charitable organization.

More than a half dozen Badin students worked for hours at U.S. Army veteran Robert Netherland’s Fairfield home installing the aluminum walkway that will allow him easier access to and from his house.

“Veterans risked their lives for us and this is one small way we can help them,” said Badin senior Landyn Vidourek.

Greg Schneider, co-founder and CEO of Operation Ramp It Up, based in Liberty Twp., said the fundraising and hard work of the students is designed to also benefit their lives by giving them firsthand experiences in community service.

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“I’ve been working with the kids at Badin High School — it’s where my kids went to high school — and this is where they get their community service hours,” said Schneider, whose nonprofit group has installed hundreds of donated ramps throughout the region and nation.

“This is their project. They raised the money to pay for this ramp and this is their big day,” he said.

The teens are athletes from some of Badin’s sport teams. Vidourek is the quarterback for the school’s football team and committed to play for the University of Cincinnati next year.

“They know all about team work … and working together and that is what they are doing now. We’re giving Bob (Netherland) this wheelchair ramp so he gets his mobility back,” said Schneider.

“This is life-changing. When they are finished, they are going to see firsthand the impact they are making on this person’s life.”

That’s part of the Catholic high school’s mission, said school spokesman Dirk Allen.

“Our Christian service efforts help our students embrace the value of ‘we over me,’ ” said Allen.

“Badin High School seniors, through our Christian service program, partner with an organization that appeals to them for a capstone service project. I’m sure our seniors found it very rewarding to be involved in something so tangibly important,” he said.

Vidourek said helping others is rewarding on many levels.

Badin encourages community service “pretty early” in the earlier grades of the high school and he said “it feels great.”

For more information and donation options go to the “Operation Ramp It Up” website.