A crew of five United Auto Workers (UAW) from Ford have been busy for more than two week constructing a large ramp outside the home of C.J. Meckes, a first grader at Creekside Elementary who was born with Spina Bifida.
For years, C.J.'s parents, Gina and Carl, have had to carry their young son, along with his wheelchair, into their home, but now, thanks to the efforts and donations of the UAW, C.J. will be able to enter his own home independently for the first time.
With materials and labor donated by Ford and UAW, Community Services Crew Leader Shane Herrell, a licensed builder for the state of Michigan, said the fmaily is grateful and the crew has received very positive feedback from the neighborhood.
"They all think it's great," he said. "We get a lot of people coming up and saying they're a retired UAW member and they think it's a great deal, which, in the big picture, it really is."
Thanks to the program through Ford and the UAW, Herrell and his crew have been able to build several other ramps, homes and other community projects throughout Michigan, but admits the ramp for C.J. has been one of his favorite projects.
"He's a little wild fire," Herrell said with a laugh. "It's going to be interesting to watch him go up and down."
The large ramp build, which also includes a small deck area for C.J. to play outside with his brothers and sisters, is expected to be completed by Friday.