LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Edward and Kathy Stoffer are lifelong Lansing locals, and for the last three years, they have struggled to get in and out of their home.
“Well it takes three people to get my wife in and out of the house, and there is always a danger of slip and fall, especially during the winter months,” said Edward Stoffer.
Kathy Stoffer is currently in the hospital, and when she’s out, the same issues keeping her in the house would prevent her from getting back out.
Enter the Tuesday Toolmen, a nonprofit program that has been around for 12 years.
The organization has one goal in mind.
“We work to revitalize neighborhoods and make sure that mid-Michigan residents can have safe and secure access to their homes,” said Emma Henry with the Capital Area Housing Partnership.
The group includes around 30 volunteers, who get together every week on Tuesdays to complete accessibility modifications to homes.
It has completed over 350 projects, thanks to the help of some very dedicated volunteers.
“We’ve got retired engineers retired contractors, as well as retired teachers, accountants anyone and everyone, the group really works together well,” continued Henry.
Retired sheriff and current Tuesday Toolman Gene Wrigglesworth called the group dedicated, admiring how they know how to get the job done.
“As you can see here today, you might be digging a hole, and then you’re putting up boards or sawing wood, wherever there is a spot to be filled, everyone knows that’s where you step in, and that’s what the beauty of this group is,” said Wrigglesworth.
This past Tuesday, the group arrived at the Stoffer’s house around 9 a.m., with the surprise construction of a ramp.
The process took five hours to complete, which Wrigglesworth attributes to having 22 sets of hands helping out.
With perfect timing, Edward Stoffer came home right as the toolmen were cleaning up to test out his new ramp.
“There must have been 20 or 30 people here,” said Edward. “This will be just a tremendous opportunity to get our lives back together.”
Providing community members with help is the only payment that the Tuesday Toolmen need.
“We get more out of it than the homeowner does, we really do,” said group member Paul Baerman.
So when Kathy Stoffer gets home from her surgery, she’ll be able to get in the front door all on her own.