Lending a helping hand in the community

By Brandi Bailey

May 2, 2013 Updated May 2, 2013 at 7:28 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A breakfast dedicated to faith and volunteers in the community turned its focus on building both.

Volunteers spoke throughout the morning about their experiences at the 15th annual Faith in Action Volunteer Awards Breakfast.

For the Ramp It Up Team -- which builds wheelchair ramps for local residents who cannot afford doing so -- it's about giving back and having a little fun along the way.

"It's wonderful and it's fun and all the kids make fun of me because of my limited mechanical skills," Rev. Mark Giroux said.

Dan Gridley, part of Saint Mark's Episcopal Church Ramp it Up Team says it all started for him as a youth group project, but quickly turned into much more.

"After the first one I realized it was something that I personally wanted to do just because it gave me this feeling of accomplishment that I could be a part of something that could change someone's life," Gridley said.

The idea came from the Broome County Council of Churches and Saint Mark's youth group jumped to the challenge.

"I think it's something that we all take for granted, just the freedom to go outside and take a breath of fresh air. A lot of people have been stuck in their homes for months, for even years," Gridley said.

Organizers of the breakfast say volunteering can be as simple as washing someone's dishes who isn't able to do it themselves.

"Everything matters and you can never just sit there and take things for granted," Gridley said.

Faith in Action is already looking forward to next year's volunteer recognition. Binghamton University's President Dr. Harvey Stenger will be the keynote speaker.