For most teenagers, getting home after a busy day at school is the highlight of their day, but the opposite is true for one High Point Central High School freshman named Almay Belton.
Although the 14-year-old from North Carolina looks forward to coming home every day, her routine is not the same as everyone else’s.
While most of her classmates can go dashing toward their front door when they get off the school bus, it’s not as easy for Almay because she uses a wheelchair.
Every day, her father, Anthony Belton, would wait for her to come home so he could help her get up their front steps that do not have an accessibility ramp.
“Basically when she gets off the bus she has a little frown on her face, like here we go, about to go up these steps,” Anthony said. “At the same time it’s hard on me, dealing with my back and I’m getting older, not younger.”
Joe Hill, the owner of Premier Waterproofing, happened to be in Almay’s neighborhood late last year to do some work. While there, he observed how Anthony would help his daughter off the bus and lift her wheelchair over the stairs every day because they do not have an accessibility ramp.
Joe wanted to help, so he knocked on the family’s door and made them an offer.
“He goes, ‘I was wondering, would you mind if I came out here and built you a ramp for nothing?’ and I kind of looked at him funny and said, ‘yeah OK there’s got to be a catch.’ Nothing is for nothing,” Anthony said.
But as Anthony would soon find out, the kind stranger meant every word he said. On December 13, he returned with his team to build the accessibility ramp for Almay. And the best part is that they did it all for free!
Once it was done, Joe and Anthony waited together to surprise Almay. When the teen got off the bus, she couldn’t help but flash a huge grin upon seeing the ramp.
“To see her smile, as soon as the door opened and she got there she just started smiling. All I can say is nothing in the world that can put a smile on dad’s face like seeing his kids smile,” Anthony said of Almay’s reaction.
It was also Joe’s favorite thing about all of this.
“The smile did it for me,” he said. “And knowing she can do it pretty much by herself, so it’s a little more independence for her.”
Almay won’t have to go through her old frustrations anymore now that she can get inside the house herself using the accessibility ramp.
Anthony is amazed at just how everything came to be. After all, it’s not every day that you meet someone like Joe, who offered to help their family in such a beautiful way without expecting anything in return.
“Never knew each other. Never met. That was my first time meeting him. And for him to pull up and say that. At first, I was like ‘why is that truck in my driveway its kind of weird.’ But then we got to talking and there was a connection and I was like ok he has a big heart,” Anthony said.
Joe said he had a soft spot for children and felt the need to do something when he saw Almay and Anthony struggling.
“I saw a need, knew I could take care of it and it went from there,” Hill said.
While Joe came up with the idea for the project, he said it wouldn’t have been a reality without the help of his team, Jaland, Malik, Rob, and Chad Leggett’s crew from CVC Services.
“We need to have more Samaritans out here doing the same thing,” Anthony said. “Helping each other instead of putting each other down. We need to be there for each other. And by him doing that, it shows you there are people in the world that do have hearts. People that do care about other people.”
Learn more about this heartwarming story of kindness in the video below.