I Was Helped By Volunteers

 The main support beam across the front of my enclosed porch was rotten. I had noted it three years ago and had covered it with heavy plastic to hide it until I was capable of repairing it.  I have crippling arthritis and simple jobs have become major hurdles. Combined with a limited income stifling my ability to buy the necessary materials I was stymied. But it had to be done it was getting continually worse.  I borrowed some scaffolding some from one neighbor and the rest from another. I had been gleaning two bys from various sources for the past three months  and had acquired 2x 6's, 2 x 8's  in varying lengths from seven to eleven feet. My problem was I needed to replace a three inch beam almost sixteen feet long.  A friend hooked me up with one of his neighbors who had just finished building a deck. The neighbor had taken four 2 x 9's  sixteen feet long and nailed them together. this made them a shade over 3" thick. I had to take both or none. No problem even though I only needed one this saved me almost $75.oo.  So I used my son's pickup drove to the man's house where I was able to back almost directly against the timbers. He did the heavy lifting and we were able to secure both beams onto the pickups heavy metal rack. Getting them off the pickup by myself was trouble but after four hours I had them both on my front lawn. Although it took two days to recover from the pain. Now I had the beams I had the scaffold and plenty of extra beams I could use as a plank platform. I know what your thinking; why didn't his son help? for the answer to that question read my story , I hate the word tomorrow.  Setting up the scaffold was difficult but I managed and surprise of all surprises my son showed up and helped me move the one section into a better position. He told me he'd be back tomorrow to help do more.  Another two days passed before I was able to climb up the scaffold and start removing the old facia and soffit and support beam. That's when I discovered I needed to support the porch roof before proceeding. I borrowed one pole jack from a contractor around the corner and bought one at Lowe's. After installing them I tightened the adjustment screws till I heard the squeal of timber letting me know the roof was lifting. Another day passed; then I once again climbed the scaffold and started removing the rotted wood in sections so I could see how things were attached. removed the corbels and their trim, the facia board  the soffit and started piecing out the old support beam. Now I  could go no further. I needed help lifting this 16 foot beam onto the top of the scaffold and into place. and of course son would not be there till tomorrow.

     Who is Ray Gant? I didn't know him but for casual conversation but somehow I got to talking to him and explained my problem. I didn't know he ran an organization called 'The Ray of Hope Project'. An organization that enlisted volunteers to help senior citizens and the underpriviledged do repairs around their homes. After assuring Ray I had the necessary materials and all I needed was assistance getting it into place Ray promised he'd be here on Aug. 9th with volunteers to help.  What I had believed would be a two hour job turned out to take two days. I had not allowed enough clearance and more framing had to be removed but Ray and his volunteers came back today to help finish installing the support beam. It's there, It's securely in place. All I could offer was baloney sandwiches and some cold sodas by way of lunch but they were thankful and graciously accepted my meager fare. I'm between bouts on the couch from the backpain. I never could let anyone do something for me without trying to help and I know I put too much pressure on my back. I'll be sore for a week but I had promised the neighbors that I would be finished with their scaffolds by the 13th. They are working men and need their tools. So tomorrow morning I'll be at the lumber yard to purchase some 1 x 12" board for facia and soffit and some 1x4 for plating behing the corbels. I'll try to use the old corbels as much as posssible. and if I can get a coat of primer on while the scaffolding is in place it will be so much easier.  While I was writing this son came in, I asked about him helping me with the rest of this job. He promised he'll help tomorrow.

    I just want to thank you Mr. Gant and the organization you have '" The Ray of Hope Project"'. You came through when I was in a hopeless situation and all I can say is:   Thank you.





rickdogood rickdogood
56-60, F
1 Response Aug 10, 2007

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