Ft. Worth Trades Rally to
Help Victim of Church Shooting
Ft. Worth, TX - When a crazed
gunman entered The Wedgewood Baptist Church in Ft. Worth
and opened fire on its occupants last September killing
seven and injuring scores of others, the lives of the everyone
touched by that tragedy were changed forever. No one more
so, perhaps, than Justin Laird, a sophomore student athlete
who was paralyzed from the chest down when a bullet severed
one of his vertebrae. Compelled to do something to help
the youngster and his parents, members of the Greater Ft.
Worth Builders Association banded together to help make
a change in the way it best knows how: by donating their
time and materials to build an addition onto the boy's bedroom
to make it wheelchair-accessible and at the same time, add
a wheelchair-accessible bathroom to it.
"It's hard enough to imagine
what this boy and his folks are going through without having
to deal with accessibility issues in their home," said Don
Bybee, one of the tradespeople who has chosen to donate
his services to build the addition. "The support from everyone
in the area has been unbelievable," he said.
" The move to help the boy
was actually prompted by a neighbor who called the Builders'
Association asking if anything could be done. That set the
wheels of generosity in motion and before long, association
members were lining up to do whatever they could. "It has
really been a tremendous outpouring of support from our
members," says Bybee. "We have had members donate not just
the materials but their services as well. Mel Grantham,
owner of Central Concrete Pumping, was one of the first
to step up, providing the pump and operator to get the concrete
- also donated by locally-based Redi-Mix Concrete - in place.
The plumbing, sheetrock, landscaping and more followed.
Heck, we even had a member who offered to put in central
vac, since that's what he does. It has been that kind of
Central Concrete Pumping's
Carl Walker obviously also sees the recent turn of events
as tragic; yet he's not surprised at the response from his
colleagues in the trades.
"We are all able to identify
with these people, who they are, what they've gone through.
This could easily have been our kids, our neighbors or ourselves.
To be able to help - even in this small way - is good for
Bybee says they are nearing
completion of the addition and adds that Justin is undergoing
aggressive physical therapy to try to regain movement in