Volunteers build ramp for Wilton senior  

Spirit Builders, an all-volunteer construction team from Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church in Ridgefield, recently built a wooden ramp for 94-year-old Wilton resident Phyllis Tousey to help her enter and leave her home safely.

The Spirit Builders team consists of skilled and amateur volunteer men and women who devote their Saturdays and some Wednesdays to home-building projects in nearby communities.

Spirit Builders leader Peter Seirup said about 10 people helped build Tousey’s accessibility ramp.

John’s Best Pizza provided lunch for the workers, which also included volunteers from Stay at Home in Wilton.

Spirit Builders built its first ramp in 2006 and has since built about a half-dozen in Wilton, including one on Ridgefield Road in 2011.

“While the labor and the basic ramp are free, we see if the family can pay for the railings and posts,” said Seirup. “If so, we see if they want to contribute to railings and posts for a family who can’t.”

Seirup said Spirit Builders finds home-building project recipients from organizations like The ALS Association, Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association and Danbury Hospital, as well as word of mouth.

“We have always helped whoever we can,” said Seirup.

Debbie McClelland, membership development and publicity director for Stay at Home in Wilton, said Tousey’s daughter told her it now takes her mother only five minutes to get from her front door to her driveway. Before the ramp, it took her 30 minutes.

To learn more about Spirit Builders, visit thespiritbuilders.org or email Seirup at peterseirup@gmail.com.