Amityville, NY – Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory presented proclamations to Amityville resident and disabled veteran Vanadis Mitchell, Rebuilding Together Long Island and Lowe’s Home Improvement Store at the general meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature held Oct. 3 in Hauppauge.
Vanadis Mitchell served as a medical service corps officer during Operation Desert Storm, keeping track of troops’ medical records. During her time in the military, Ms. Mitchell suffered hearing loss in both ears after she was struck by lightning through a field phone. She now serves as the primary care taker for her sister, nephew, and adopted son who are all disabled, among other extended family members.
Ms. Mitchell’s home was not sufficiently set up to accommodate for handicapped residents, as it had no ramps at any entrance, and the doorway to her son’s room was not wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair.
Rebuilding Together Long Island, a Farmingdale-based nonprofit organization that provides home repairs to low-income homeowners who are elderly, veterans, disabled, or have families with young children, received a $15,000 grant from Lowe’s to make the necessary accommodations to Ms. Mitchell’s home.
Volunteers and Lowe’s employees worked for two months to widen the doorway to her disabled son’s bedroom, extend a wall to give him more space, and install wheelchair ramps, a new toilet, sink and wall-to-wall walk-in shower that can accommodate a wheelchair.
“I’d like to thank Ms. Mitchell for all of sacrifices she has made – both on behalf of our country and to the extended family she unselfishly cares for,” said Presiding Officer Gregory. “I would also like to thank Rebuilding Together Long Island, their president, Barbara Nilsen and Lowe’s Home Improvement stores for their generous support of this very important program. The efforts that Rebuilding Together puts forward year after year to assist veteran families in need are truly inspiring.”
Photo, from left: Town of Babylon Councilwoman Jacqueline Gordon, Presiding Officer Gregory, Vanadis Mitchell, Lowe’s Farmingdale Manager Doug Breindl, Lowe’s Farmingdale Human Resources Manager Andrew Hourie and Rebuilding Together Long Island Director Frank Zambanini.