Grateful for putting people first
I have often imagined what our country would be like if all our leaders from the president to the mayor made all their major decisions by putting people first. Decision making based not on greed, power or fame but people. This possibility is not as far off as you may think. I recently had the blessing of realizing how many business leaders in our local community do exactly what I only imagined political leaders could do — “put people first.”
On May 18, I had a very serious life-threatening, life-changing accident. I had decided to pursue the sport of free parasailing/paramotoring. I was in training working with my parachute near the boat ramp of Lake New Hogan when a wind anomaly inflated my chute, picked me up about 25 feet into the air and threw me into my jeep at an estimated 40 mph. My injuries included two crushed and very nearly amputated feet, a broken sternum and a broken back.
After a long hospital stay I unfortunately realized in order for me to remain in my El Dorado Hills home I was looking at a series of very expensive but necessary modifications for accessibility. When I first added up the cost based on some quick contractor and supplier estimates I discovered I may be unable to afford to live in my home and still have some sort of reasonable mobility and access to the outside world. I have been part of the El Dorado Hills community since 1998 but my recent accident was threatening to end my time in our community. The prospect of moving out of El Dorado Hills was intensely depressing to me as I truly love our community and our people.
My community friends of many years came out to help in any way they could. Many of my friends work in the real estate and construction trades and have done so for as long as I can remember. Over the years I have used the services offered by many of our local business owners. I have successfully developed great business and personal relationships based on simple principles and concepts; principles such as putting people first, honesty, integrity and the concept that we need to support our local businesses and enable each other to make a profit.
These basic principles and simple concepts made doing business easy and over the years great personal and business relationships were forged. I definitely feel our entire community believes in the same principles and concepts as I do; however, it was not until my life changing accident that I really came to see the depth of our community generosity, trust and integrity.
As each of my friends/business owners came to realize the gravity of my situation they immediately, without prompting of any kind, began to offer services at greatly reduced rates or in some cases at no charge! The business owners took on the task of coordinating with each other and managing the necessary modifications to my home almost entirely without my assistance as they realized due to the gravity of my injuries that I was unable to perform these tasks myself. I also could not have done this without the assistance of my many community friends who all came out to support me in a wide variety of ways such as cooking meals, researching solutions, moral support, walking the dog and cleaning house.
I could not be more proud to be part of such a community of friends and businesses who truly put people first and who all came together to enable me to heal in my own home! I cannot put a price on the human kindness that was demonstrated nor can I begin to imagine the value of being enabled to heal in my own home and community of 15 years.
Below is big thank you and a call out list of the vendors and contractors in our area that demonstrated how much of a part of our community they really are and how they lead their companies by putting people first.
- Jim Stephenson with Ultimate Electric
- Bill Kearns with Kearns construction
- Gregg Owens with GOHand
- Neal Hankin with Hankin Specialty Elevators Inc.
- Paul Lombardi with Lombardi Painting
- Elana with Barber Johns
- Josh Brantley, who offered aid and advocate services for the disabled
The services offered included the installation of a two-story lift system for wheelchair access, supporting electrical work, modifications required to create a handicap accessible bathroom, outdoor shower facilities, air conditioning install services, wheelchair lift systems for the car, various donated medical devices and haircuts.