News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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March 11, 2014


A few days ago we talked to John Anderson of the Greencastle Presbyterian Church. He’s the coordinator for a mission of the church that builds ramps and stairs for those who are physically handicapped in Putnam County.

These ramps do not use postings set in concrete so they can go just about anywhere. They are a spin-off of SAWS (Servants at Work) that began at a Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. They build ramps, stairs and safety railings so people can go up and down stairs and use wheeled instruments, wheelchairs, etc., to get into their homes. There is absolutely no cost to residents and no charge for the labor. Servants at Work, however, do accept donations from the community at large.   

In Vigo County, the W.I.L.L. organization does this type of work. If you are in need for this type of assistance, you may call Peter Ciancone at 812-298-9455, and the Maryland Community Church and talk to Jim Medley at 812-864-2600. As with John Anderson’s group in Greencastle, there is no charge for this very worthwhile effort.  

When one thinks of a church’s mission, your thoughts are often turned to faraway places and difficult areas to assist. But this is help the SAWS organization recognized a need for in the State of Indiana and the Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis helped other SAWS get started. And these we have named are those who are helping handicapped people have much better access to their homes. In any kind of weather, getting trapped in your house because there is no way to get out safely, or easily, can be a terrible thing. But these people come to the rescue and it is here at home … a great idea doing a great deed for others.

John Anderson, with whom I had the first conversation on the radio, WAXI, is a Rose-Hulman graduate and spent 35 years at the Ford Motor Co. as an engineer. And now, he is helping his church build ramps and stairs for those with serious physical challenges. Last year they built 23 ramps and would like to do many more this year. The SAWS number in Putnam County is 765-653-5713. This is a mission that is a very good effort for those who most need it.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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    March 12, 2010