Bob Taylor and HBADE President Jim McCulley join volunteers for a ribbon cutting for the newly constructed wheelchair ramp at the home of Edward Littlejohn.

On June 20, the life of 94-year-old Edward Littlejohn was changed for the better. Littlejohn — a veteran who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam — is wheelchair bound, and has long faced challenges getting in and out of his home.

But with the help of the Home Builders Association of Delaware (HBADE), in conjunction with Purple Heart Homes, Dover Federal Credit Union, Disabled Veterans of Dover and Home Depot, a wheelchair ramp was designed and built outside his home in Dover, Del.

Littlejohn can now more easily enter and leave his home to see friends and family, attend doctor’s appointments, and enjoy sunny afternoons outside on his deck.

Not long after Purple Heart Homes identified Littlejohn as a likely candidate for the ramp project, the construction process began. Plans were introduced to HBADE at its monthly community outreach board meeting. It was there that board member Bob Taylor volunteered to help coordinate and oversee construction, providing a building crew, tools and arranging pick up of materials each day.

Taylor said that the project itself went smoothly, and that the only real difficulty was finding enough work for each volunteer.

“There’s a lot of our members and their employees that are looking for ways to give back to the community, and would be happy to participate,” Taylor said. “You’ll end up with more volunteers than needed, but with proper planning, there’s ways to keep everyone involved.”

Permits to build the ramp were obtained thanks to the coordinated efforts of Bill Hare, 2nd District City of Dover Councilmen, the Dover City Offices and HBADE. Taylor said that the city expedited the permits once it was informed of the project, and that it was very accommodating.

“We are honored to join with Purple Heart Homes and Dover Federal Credit Union to build a ramp for one of America’s true heroes and a member of the greatest generation,” said HBADE President James C. McCulley.

HBADE plans to do future outreach projects with Purple Hearts to help veterans in their community.

This post was researched and written by Luke Goodwin, a summer intern for NAHB Communications.


AuthorMelissa Scott

Summer is here and that means lots of time with family and friends. This summer, we are giving you the rundown on ways to keep the kids entertained during the summer, both in and outdoors. These are activities that will be fun for the entire family all summer long!

1.     Day at the beach – regardless of age, a day at the beach is guaranteed fun for the whole family. Sand castles, beach volleyball, and time in the ocean are key to a successful day in the sun.

2.     Ice cream shops – at the end of a long day in the sun, take the time to arrange a family outing to your local ice cream or water ice shop. It’s a fun activity and a tasty one J.

3.     Swimming lessons and the pool – spending time near the water is a great way to cool down from the summer heat and also teach the kids how to start swimming.

4.     Family movie night – after spending the day outdoors or once the kids get home from camp, enjoy a family movie night either in your house or in the theatres to wind down from the day or week.

5.     BBQ – there is no better occasion to BBQ than in the summer. Congregate neighbors, friends, and family for watermelon, hot dogs, and hamburgers and enjoy a low-key summer night outdoors.

6.     Weekend trips – plan a weekend trip to get out of the suburbs and into nature with the family. You can go to a lake or a beach nearby by car or explore a more exotic getaway, as well!

7.     Summer camp – kids enjoy time outdoors connecting with others their age and taking a break from school to play and have fun. Explore day or overnight camps where the children can play sports, learn songs, and explore!

These are just a few starters but these activities are sure to keep the family excited, energized, and active all summer long. Enjoy the time with family & friends!

AuthorMelissa Scott