NOLANVILLE — Local service organizations such as the Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions clubs have their sights set on providing both manpower and money to assist those who need help.
The most recent reminders of dreadful situations that arise on a gigantic scale are Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
Members of service organizations in Texas and Florida are continuing to answer the calls for help in their respective communities.
It’s not the magnitude of a hurricane, but the 15-member Lions Club of Nolanville stepped up to the plate and completed a project that has brought much joy to the Gill Family.
Josh and Raylene are the parents of Kayla, 15, Emma, 13, Kyle, 10 and Ian, 8.
The Gills have made a name for themselves through involvement in civic theater and other projects.
Emma owns a television production company along with acting, modeling, community service and much more. She also gets her mom and brothers involved in many of her activities.
Kara Escajeda, city manager of Nolanville, made members of the Lions Club aware of a project that would provide support for the Gill family.
The Gills’ oldest daughter, Kayla, has a disease know as congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV).
In an interview with the Herald, Raylene Gill said, “If you’re healthy, it doesn’t affect you. When I was pregnant with her, I had never been exposed to CMV and didn’t have the antibodies to fight it. It formed in every organ of her body. She has severe brain damage and is at a newborn level.
“She can’t walk, sit up or hold her head up and spends her life in a wheelchair,” Mrs. Gill said. “She has a feeding tube, seizure disorder in addition to lung, heart and vision issues along with hearing and other medical problems.”
Escajeda, who has known the Gill family for quite some time, recently gave Emma a ride home after a youth advisory committee and asked, “You have a deck but don’t have a ramp for your handicapped sister. Is there anything we can do for you?”
Emma told Escajeda, “My mom has to carry Kayla, who weighs about 80 pounds, up and down these stairs and it hurts her back.”
The next day, Escajeda contacted Allen Ackles, president of the Nolanville Lions Club Branch, and told him, “The Gill family needs a ramp to help them transport their daughter, Kayla, from the house to their vehicle.”
Lions Club member and City Councilman Lynn Bilberry went to work gathering up donations of lumber and supplies at Heights Lumber and Foxworth Galbraith.
Heights Lumber donated $400 worth of lumber and supplies.
“Foxworth Lumber in Nolanville gave us a significant discount on supplies, as well,” Bilberry said.
Ackles said, “A couple of our members knew the Gills needed the ramp. We had the skill set and the people to do the work so on July 8, we arrived at the Gill residence and worked from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. building that ramp.
In addition to Ackles, Lions Club members Jacob Ferguson joined in as project manager assisted by Bilberry. Ackles’ son, Chris, and Kyle Skelton, provided volunteer help.
The entire family was thrilled with the ramp. “This is an overwhelming blessing and we have so many people to thank who made it possible,” Raylene said.
Emma and her brothers all agreed that it was going to make it a lot easier to push Kayla around in her wheelchair.
Raylene Gill said, “Emma was so excited by it all that she wanted to join the Lions Club. I expect she’ll do that when she reaches the age to qualify for membership.”