When a kind stranger saw a young girl in a wheelchair and her father struggle to make it up their front steps each day, he built them a wheelchair accessibility ramp, for free.
Almay Belton is a 14-year-old student from North Carolina who uses a wheelchair, and each day as she takes the school bus home, her dad, Anthony Belton, is there at home waiting for her. Anthony makes sure he’s there each day as her school bus arrives so that he can help Almay make it up the steps on their front porch and into their home.
While Almay appreciates her father’s help, it is a struggle for her, as for each step that he lifts the wheelchair up and then sets it down, she feels jolted and uncomfortable.
“Basically when she gets off the bus she has a little frown on her face,” Anthony shared of his daughter. “Like here we go, back it up, about to go up these steps. It was kinda hard, mostly on her, because basically she’s going up and down the steps, so basically constantly bumping and dumping down the steps. Then at the same time, it’s hard on me, dealing with my back and I’m getting older, not younger.”
A passerby who had been doing some work in the Belton’s neighborhood, Joe Hill, happened to see Anthony lifting his daughter in her wheelchair up and down the steps each day. Joe’s heart was moved when he saw the father and daughter struggle with her wheelchair, and he wanted to do something to help.
“The school bus stopped, and I saw him, what he was going through, getting his daughter down,” Joe tenderly said. “I just saw a need and knew I could take care of it, and went from there.”
Joe pulled up to their home and asked Anthony if he could build them a wheelchair accessibility ramp, for free.
“Would you mind if I come out here and just built you a ramp for nothing?” Anthony remembers Joe saying.
While unsure what to make of the stranger’s offer at first, Anthony soon understood the man’s kind heart in wanting to help him and his daughter, and he agreed. Joe returned later that week with his team and together they built an accessibility ramp for Almay; one she could use to go from her school bus all the way into her home.
The ramp was a surprise for Almay, and Joe built it while she was at school. When she came home that day and first saw the accessibility ramp, Anthony said that her smile was priceless.
“Joy… in the heart… to see her smile… the first thing through the door as she got there, she just started smiling,” Anthony said.
Joe said that seeing Almay’s smile was more than enough of a payment for him.
“The smile did it for me,” Joe lovingly said. “And knowing she can do it pretty much by herself, so it’s a little more independence for her.”
“All I can say is nothing in the world could put a smile on a dad’s face than seeing his kid smile, especially when seeing something that she’s going to enjoy,” Anthony said. “We need to have more Samaritans out here doing the same thing, as far as helping each other, instead of putting each other down. We need to be there for each other. And you know, by him doing that, [it] shows you right there, there are people in the world that do have hearts, that do care about other people.”
Watch this heartwarming video of Joe helping Anthony and Almay:
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