Volunteers build wheelchair ramp for military vet, wife in Kissimmee

Osceola Council on Aging, The Home Depot foot bill, provide volunteers for project

Volunteers build wheelchair ramp for veteran's St. Cloud home.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The rain didn’t stop about a dozen volunteers from helping a Kissimmee Air Force veteran build a wheelchair ramp leading to his home.

“It was all volunteer. That’s what gets you as a veteran, that people come out and voluntarily do this for you,” Michael Hansell said.

He said getting up the stairs to access their Kissimme home is difficult for his wife, Carolyn.

Michael and Carolyn Hansell

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“She has deteriorating disks in her back and it was hard for her to get up and down the steps every day. It’s also getting hard for me to go up and down the stairs as well,” Michael Hansell said.

The Hansell family couldn't afford the $5,000 price tag to get a wheelchair ramp built. The Osceola Council on Aging and The Home Depot stepped in to help out, footing the bill and rounding up volunteers to build the 31-foot ramp.

“The ramp is awesome... This ramp is lifesaving, being able to get up here and knowing I’ll be safe,” Carolyn Hansell said.

The volunteers also upgraded their landscaping with new plants and mulch, and installed a lit flag pole. The Hansell family said they are proud to display the large flag as it symbolizes their patriotism and service.

“I really enjoy doing it. I was never able to get into the service and to me, this is my way of paying veterans back,” said Jim Jandrew, who is the director of veterans program for the Osceola Council on Aging.

Michael and Carolyn Hansell said they are thankful for everyone involved in this project that will make their lives easier for years to come.

About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.