July 11, 2023

Volunteers Ramp Up Their Efforts to Renovate Home of Gladstone Man

EquipmentShare volunteers install new siding on a house.
Work Life

Eight years ago, soon after Robert Jones moved into his home in Gladstone, Missouri, he slipped on the ice outside his backdoor and landed on his tailbone. That injury added to an already long list of back problems that have limited his mobility and forced him to give up his career as an ironworker.

To continue to live independently at home, Jones, 56, needed a ramp outside his backdoor. Thanks to a group effort from Rebuilding Together Kansas City and EquipmentShare, he got that ramp and so much more.

“It’s absolutely wonderful,” Jones said on the afternoon of June 21, raising his voice over the sound of busy power saws, nail guns and drills outside his home. “I really have a great affection for these people, because they care. They’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty. I don’t know how I would ever thank them.”

Robert Jones, left, speaks to Rebuilding Together Kansas City's Marty Clariday about the improvements to his home in Gladstone, Missouri.

Rebuilding Together is a national nonprofit organization with local chapters that repair homes for those in need. For this project, Rebuilding Together Kansas City partnered with EquipmentShare. Twenty EquipmentShare employees from three locations — the Kansas City telematics warehouse and T3 center, the Kansas City VLP dealership and the Columbia corporate headquarters — answered the call, slathered on sunscreen and put in a hot day of hard work assisting a neighbor in need.

“We’ve all needed help at some point or another,” said Penny Spear, the business operations manager for EquipmentShare’s Kansas City warehouse and T3 center. “Especially for people who are lower-income or disabled, they don’t have the resources. When the community comes together to help, it’s such a good feeling.”

Because so many people volunteered, what Jones originally expected to be a small project became an extreme makeover in which the team: 

  • Built a wheelchair-accessible ramp.
  • Replaced rotting posts holding up the carport.
  • Rebuilt a fence.
  • Repaired and painted a storage shed. 
  • Removed deteriorating stucco from the front of the house and replaced it with siding.
  • Created a mulched walkway from the driveway to the front door.
  • Pulled weeds and trimmed shrubs.
  • Installed two ADA-compliant toilets. 
  • Replaced two broken smoke detectors and installed a fire extinguisher.

“We overwhelmed him in a big way,” said Marty Clariday, the program director for Rebuilding Together Kansas City. “It was incredible, and it’s why I do what I do and why I ask for help from companies like EquipmentShare.”

EquipmentShare is committed to a culture of volunteering. It offers employees two paid days off per year to do volunteer work and gives each of its branches a $2,500 annual budget for giving back to its community. Jeff Prickett, the general manager of EquipmentShare’s Kansas City VLP dealership, said he hoped to work with Rebuilding Together Kansas City on more projects in the future.

Jeff Prickett, right, the general manager of EquipmentShare's Kansas City VLP dealership, helped build a ramp and fence for Robert Jones' home.

“I’ve never worked for a company that gives you the opportunity to give back like this company does,” Prickett said. “I absolutely love working for EquipmentShare, and it’s fantastic to be able to be involved in things like this. The most rewarding part is knowing this is going to help somebody in the end.”

When the work was finished, Jones and his mother stepped outside to appreciate all the improvements and thank the workers who made it possible.

“I want to stay in my house more than anything,” Jones said. “What they’re doing is going to help me do that.” 

Learn more about EquipmentShare’s commitment to building and bettering communities.

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