Life just got a little sweeter for a boy in a wheelchair. This story about 5-year-old Ryder Kilam is just a lovely reminder of how beautiful humanity can be when we help each other. Ryder’s parents posted a plea online. And high schoolers went above and beyond to do way more than the family could have imagined.
Every morning, rain or shine, Ryder Kilam heads to the bus stop to wait for the bus to take him to school. But Ryder isn't your typical kid. He lives life in a wheelchair and sometimes life gets a little challenging.
Because he can't wait inside and then run out to the bus, he is exposed to the elements. The boy in a wheelchair gets rained on, or he gets chilled because of being out in the cold and the wind. His parents had created a makeshift shelter but it wasn't very sturdy and it fell apart.
"We ended up having an old patio umbrella standing out here to keep him dry but with the wind blowing and stuff it just didn't work," said Ryder's Dad, Tim Kilam. "So we decided to reach out to the community, we actually put a post on Facebook looking for friends that may be new somebody that had one that they were no longer using."
Parents Of Boy In A Wheelchair Post A Desperate Plea
Ryder’s parents decided they would need to build a new shelter. But they had neither the resources nor the skill set needed for the project. That's when Ryder's dad Tim decided they should reach out to the community to see if anyone could help.
But they were blown away by the kindness, the time put in, the effort, and especially by the generosity of a few high school teens.
You see, the Facebook post caught the attention of Construction Technology teacher, Dan McKena. "We've done other projects before. I think it's very important for my students to learn not only the aspects of construction but of being involved in the community dealing with people outside of the school environment."
Dan not only volunteered to help. He also asked his students if they were willing to help the boy in a wheelchair. He was very surprised and grateful when three classes volunteered.
"They all worked together for a common goal and they really enjoyed knowing the end result and knowing where it's going. On days when it might've been like, ‘I don't feel like working' or whatever it may be, they just come in eager, ready to get going and get to work," Dan said.
This included a senior by the name of Mason Heald. He decided to make the shelter his senior project. "It was a learning stretch for me. I've never really done anything like that," he said.
High School Students Rally To Build Shelter
One of the other students who volunteered was Ryder's older brother. He made sure the shelter was ADA accessible with a ramp. He wanted to ensure it could be big enough for Ryder and whoever wheels him in.
After weeks of work, the students finally completed the shelter. And the amount of time and effort put into the project blew Ryder's family away!
A construction class at Westerly HS learned a 5-yr old was in need of a sheltered area to wait to his bus in the morning. Ryder,can't run outside like most kids and had to wait in the rain but not anymore thanks to the kindness of students who built him a bus stop! @ 5:30 @NBC10 pic.twitter.com/cl4a3xKXJ7
- Sam Read (@NBC10_Sam) November 18, 2021
Shelter Keeps Boy In Wheelchair Safe And Dry
Now, this little boy in a wheelchair has a warm and sturdy place to wait where he's out of the elements while he waits for the bus every morning.
Ryder finally got to use the shelter and his parents snapped a photo of a very happy kid. They sent the photo to Dan. When he saw the grin on little Ryder's face, it made his day. The look on Ryder's face was absolutely priceless.
"The family sent me a photo of Ryder in the bus stop and his grin, his smile, I think my response to that email was just, ‘priceless.' That one photo that the family sent me made it all worth it and I shared it with the students that were involved in the construction," Dan said.
It's efforts like this that warm your heart as you send a prayer to God, saying, "Lord, thank you for these students. Thank you for their generosity, kindness, and compassion."
We pray the shelter keeps Ryder out of the weather for years to come.
"Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed." Proverbs 19:17
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h/t: Tanks Good News
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Sam Read