Teen in wheelchair gets a new driveway thanks to community-wide effort
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - While most teens found gifts like new clothes or video games wrapped under their tree, for one Leland teen, one of the best gifts he received this year was a new driveway.
“It’s gonna make it easier for me,” 10th grader Ricco McDonald said. “I don’t gotta be struggling getting on the bus and everything.”
McDonald is a North Brunswick High School student. He usually cruises in his wheelchair, which he uses because of his disability, with ease. But potholes along his driveway, often pooled with water, make it tough not only to get around but also to get on and off the school bus each day.
When Mark Rogerson saw how difficult it was for the teen to get on the school bus one morning, he knew he had to do something. He was stopped behind the bus and got out to help Ricco get the wheelchair lift to release one morning so he could get on.
“The whole way to work, it just struck me how difficult that child was having to struggle to get on the bus to go to school,” Rogerson said. “So, I sent my wife a message and said we’ve got to do something about this.”
A Facebook post asking for help garnered dozens of responses, offering donations from money to supplies. Eventually, he connected with Dale Benton, of Crete Solutions, and Woody Shaw, of Shaw Trucking.
The two donated time and resources to help deliver rocks and fill the potholes at McDonald’s mobile home park. Within a week, the potholes were filled.
“There’s a lot of people wanting to help, but we’re just lucky to have the means to help,” Benton said. “Ricco, he makes you want to be good. He brings out the best in you.”
Rogerson said he hopes they’ll be able to pave the driveway with concrete eventually.
But for now, McDonald said it will make getting on the bus a lot easier once his winter break is over and he heads back to school. And the men who made it possible said they’re not only happy to help someone in need, but they’re lucky they got to know the teen who they say has a very bright future ahead of him.
“He’s just an ordinary kid, you know? He just wants to enjoy himself and follow his dreams and have a good life, and this little teeny thing we’re trying to do here for him will just be a little bit better for him to follow his dreams and continue his education,” Rogerson said.
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