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Cementing a Legacy: Builders' 2023 Season Comes to a Successful Close

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Two members of Bob's Builders stand atop the roof of a cottage, adding material.

This month, we reached the end of a very successful building season at Jacob's Ladder! To sum it all up...

With $415,000 raised, 122 building volunteers, 16 residents in new semi-independent living cottages, nine building teams, seven roofs, five retrofitted cottages and two full containers of building supplies shipped, we have wrapped up one memorable buildin

We want to thank all our volunteers who worked so tirelessly — not only during their week at Jacob’s Ladder — but by planning and fundraising throughout the year. 

Building season starts long before the builders get on the ground. The building container committee started meeting in June 2022 to plan for the season ahead, including planning for what materials needed to be sent over to Jamaica in advance of the teams’ arrival. With help from our Kentucky teams, two containers full of building supplies were loaded and shipped in October. 

Volunteers load the container with supplies in Kentucky

A focus of the building teams this year was to retrofit cottages for more independent residents living at Jacob’s Ladder so that they could have a space with more privacy and dignity. They also directed their energy on repairs and maintenance to the cottages; this included new roofs, doors, access ramps, sidewalks, and lots of painting. The final priority for this season was to update Antioch, one of the five villages at Jacob’s Ladder, to accommodate new residents.

The building teams were able to retrofit five cottages for independent living. They added partitions to the cottages and made adjustments to doorways, common areas, and bathrooms. The renovated structures accommodate residents in wheelchairs, providing easier access to move around in the cottage.

Lincoln gets a visit from Fr. Garvin in his new independent living quarters!

Next, the groups focused their attention on maintenance and repairs throughout the Jacob’s Ladder villages. Every building team helped to remove old roofs and replace them with sturdier metal roofs. Additionally, they worked on the gutters of cottages and replaced any spaces where there could be leaks. We know our residents will be nice and dry this upcoming rainy season in Jamaica! 

Cottage B6 Before and After!

In addition to replacing roofs, the building teams worked hard to improve residents’ front porches and ramps leading to their cottages and other buildings. They did a lot of painting, including on the entire exterior of the chapel at Jacob’s Ladder. 

Saint Andrew the Apostle builders paint the church exterior.KY Able volunteers finish building a ramp outside the Antioch Medical Clinic.

Finally, they made improvements for new residents to move into Antioch village! These updates  reflect the needs and capabilities of the new population moving in. Along the way, Mustard Seed residents helped the builders, often working alongside them. I know the builders enjoy their time with the residents the most and the residents are so grateful for all their work! 

A Jacob’s Ladder resident helps paint with a member of the KY Jehn teamA team works on the common room in Antioch village

We want to sincerely thank all of these teams for all their hard work this season: Saint Thomas More; KY Dressman; KY Able; Bob’s Builder’s; KY Jehn; Saint Andrew the Apostle Builders; KY Hoffer; and KY Whalen. You’re an inspiration to us and a blessing to the many men and women with disabilities who call Jacob’s Ladder their home!

Here’s a video of why this work matters so much; listen to Lincoln describe what semi-independent living means for him...

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