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Meet this week’s Hughes & Coleman Hometown Hero, John Yakel

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 7:40 PM CDT
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GLASGOW, Ky. (WBKO) - After retiring John Yakel decided to make Glasgow, Kentucky his home.

Since then, he’s been a prominent member at First Christian Church Disciples of Christ, including becoming the coordinator of the Church Ramp Ministry.

The ministry has been helping disabled homeowners be able to leave their homes with a new ramp.

Jeff Bruce, a friend of John describes him as “he is a blessing to our church, he is a blessing to our family, and a blessing to our community in ways that he probably has no idea.”

A sentiment, Bruce Trabue, another friend of John, shares, “he’s just the man that takes care of everything and, and he’s done a great service for our community, not to have been from this community to move into it.”

John Yakel is known as the man who can do it all, “John has a servant’s heart and he is absolutely willing to do anything, he will go to all lengths,” says Bruce.

“I head up our handicap ramp ministry, and we build ramps for people in the community, that are in need of a permanent ramp because of either illness or because of health that is declining. So it’s gone strong since then for 10 years and still going strong today,” says John Yakel.

“These ramps are for people that are, that are disabled, and you know, like, say it’s an opportunity for them to be able to get out of their home,” says Bruce Trabue.

The funding for the ramps comes in different ways, “we have generous people in our church that contribute, we’ve had Habitat for Humanity organization donate money, we’ve had Salvation Army donate money. Sometimes if the people are able, I’ll ask the people, the recipients of the ramp, if they would be able to contribute something towards the ramp project. Some people can pay the entire bill, some people can’t pay even a single dollar. So it varies on the needs of the people. It’s been a blessing to the people, and it certainly has been a blessing to us in our church ever since we started 10 years ago,” adds Yakel.

After a ramp is built, “we invite the recipients of the ramp out and we take a picture with them together and oftentimes, the ramp recipient will break into tears and say, you people must be angels, when in fact we’re, we’re really not angels. We’re just men and women with some tools and a little bit of know-how, and hopefully with a compassionate heart to help our fellow people,” says Yakel.

He also adds he is grateful his efforts to give back are recognized, “I was immediately humbled by the honor that all of that brings because I know that there are so many deserving people that deserve an honor like that to be recognized for their good works,” adds Yakel.

If you’d like to help the Church Ramp Ministry with a donation, you can click here.

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