Christmas came early this year for our grant awardee, Delores Dabney of Arlington, Virginia. At the end of the summer, rains from Hurricane Irene came in through the windows of Delores’s apartment and severely damaged the wood floors.
Not long after we contacted her to let her know she had been selected as a 2011 grant winner, she had to pack up and relocate to an apartment downstairs while the floors in her apartment were being redone.
For Delores, who is quadriplegic and uses a wheelchair, this was an even greater challenge than it was for other residents of her building. Delores lives on her own, but reduced income due to disability retirement has recently forced her to cut back on the number of hours she has in-home help from a personal care attendant.
Because she was spending more hours alone in her home, Delores found herself needing to find more ways to manage her life. She reached out to The Eric Fund, requesting funding for an automatic door opener so that she might come and go from her apartment independently, without the aid of another person to open and shut the door.
The timing of the installation was perfect. When the floors in Delores’s apartment were done and the apartment was ready to be occupied again, the automatic opener had been installed and was ready for use!
Delores is thrilled to be back in her own apartment in time for the holidays, complete with her brand-new door opener. “I feel like I have so much more freedom,” Delores said enthusias- tically.
“I can come and go as I please!” Delores told us that the door opener “works well, and looks beautiful. It is a real blessing.”