A New Orleans man who lost his left leg to a bacterial infection three years ago has been hoisting himself up the front stairs of his home or hopping down them on one leg since because he didn’t have a proper wheelchair ramp.
But on Wednesday, his family got a visit from some power-tool wielding football players and other helpers.
‘To see so many people that care about you, it’s great’
Jerry Hills, who lives in the St. Roch neighborhood of the city, called Rebuilding Together New Orleans a few months ago seeking help. The organization’s focus is on improving the lives of residents through volunteer and professional labor.
This week, about a dozen Saints players, including receiver Michael Thomas and pass-rusher Cameron Jordan, as well as employees from law firm Dudley DeBosier, gathered at Hills’s house to build a long ramp along the shotgun-style home. They also did other exterior renovations, including painting and siding repair.
“Having this ramp is a great feeling,” Hills said, via nola.com. “To see so many people that care about you, it’s great. It’s really great.”
Defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth learned a new skill in helping the Hillses.
“I never touched a power drill in my life, but I'm out here today doing it. Just doing it for somebody else that's in need, it just brings a whole different special feeling to it,” Stallworth said.
Players were happy to help
The players who took part were happy to help and make life a little better for Jerry Hills and his wife, Doreen.
Jordan said it was another chance for Saints players to show how much they care about the community they’re part of, while receiver Keith Kirkwood felt he got something out of it, too.
“It’s a beautiful feeling inside to know you can help somebody any moment, given that we're always busy, we're professional athletes so there's always something that's on our agenda, but to stop here come in the community to help somebody is huge,” Kirkwood said.
“I couldn't believe when they said the Saints were coming to help. I said, ‘Oh my God’. I told my husband last night, ‘You know what, we are special,’ ” Doreen Hills said.
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