Member Stories

Community Organizes to Build Wheelchair Ramp for Neighbor’s Son

Written by Anne Dreshfield

When Marcus, a teen from one Baltimore-area neighborhood was severely injured in a skateboarding accident, Nextdoor Founding Member and Lead Michael Kaspar didn’t hesitate: he immediately took to Nextdoor to organize the community to help.

What began as a simple desire to help a family in need turned into a several month long effort to make their lives better.

As Marcus recovered in the hospital while under a medically-induced coma, Michael began to rally the neighborhood for his eventual return home. Understandably, nothing was going to be the same – the family’s home needed to be updated with wheelchair-accessible ramps, doorways, and much more. Michael decided to tackle one of the first obstacles for the family: how to get Marcus into his own home.

Thankfully, he had Nextdoor. Michael posted asking his neighbors for help, outlining his project: to hand-build a wheelchair ramp up the front steps of Marcus’ home. Neighbors immediately began to volunteer money for supplies, food and hot drinks for the day of, and their time – all told, dozens of neighbors pitched in to help however they could.

Neighbors hard at work at Marcus' house.
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Neighbors hard at work at Marcus’ house.

Within one weekend, the neighborhood had completely transformed the front of the home, adding a brand new wheelchair ramp and fresh landscaping. Thanks to the community and Nextdoor, Marcus was able to easily return home from the hospital to continue his recovery.

Neighbors putting the finishing touches on the ramp.
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Neighbors putting the finishing touches on the ramp.

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