CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Volunteers in Charlottesville worked Wednesday morning to help a woman recovering from open-heart surgery.

Albemarle Housing Improvement Program and Tiger Fuel Company partnered to help finish a handicap ramp at Ruby Sandridge’s home in the city. Volunteers also repainted and sanded the ramps on Sandridge’s front porch and made improvements to her back porch.

Sandridge says the act of kindness is something she will not forget.

“I was surprised…I didn’t know they were going to do this,” Sandridge said. “I thought they were just coming to do the ramp and I didn’t know there were going to paint the back porch but I appreciate everything and I thank them.”

This is Tiger Fuel’s second volunteer event as part of a year-long partnership with AHIP to help families in central Virginia.

“We just love this community and we love living in Charlottesville and supporting families in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville and it’s really important for us to be giving back,” said Sarah Whitney of Tiger Fuel.

In the fall, Tiger Fuel and AHIP will work on a new partnership that will provide heat tanks to families in need.

Earlier this month, AHIP received $60,000 from two anonymous donors and now they are challenging the community to match that. AHIP is currently $30,000 short of its goal. Community members who would like to donate have until Sunday.

Press Release from the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program:

Charlottesville, VA – June 26, 2019 –Volunteers from Tiger Fuel Company will be finishing a critical access ramp on Wednesday, June 26 to help senior homeowner Ruby Sandridge shore up access to and from her city home. The project is happening as AHIP closes in on raising $120,000 with a community match challenge through June 30.

“We’re so grateful for all the help she can get. The ramp was so important because of her bad knees,” Donna Currier, Sandridge’s daughter, said.

Sandridge, who turns 87 next month, used to work in the warehouse at Salvation Army, in charge of donations intake, inventory, and moving items to the sales floor. Her home was originally owned by her aunt, and Sandridge moved in during the 90s to take care of her after she was diagnosed with cancer. Currier and her two sisters who live in Kentucky look after her, but need help keeping her home safe and secure.

Today’s Tiger Fuel It Forward event is the second volunteer initiative of a year-long partnership with AHIP to help more families in need across Charlottesville and Albemarle. Tiger Fuel is donating fuel, labor, tank sets, and other services valued up to $10,000 by the end of December.

“Tiger Fuel believes in giving back to the community that has been such an integral part of our cycle of success. Our partnership with AHIP puts us in direct contact with families that need help and need it now,” Taylor Sutton, Tiger Fuel chief operations officer, said.

AHIP is closing in on a fiscal year-end fundraising goal, with $15,000 needed to be matched by $15,000 from two local families to reach our goal. All donations are being matched dollar for dollar to double the impact on safe, affordable homes for local families in need.

“Working with partners like Tiger Fuel brings much-needed energy and support to AHIP’s programs,” Jennifer Jacobs, AHIP executive director, said. “We are grateful to them and to the community, whose participation in the match challenge campaign for the next few days continue providing a lifeline to neighbors in need.”

Operating as the only year-round home repair nonprofit for low-income neighbors, AHIP receives 10 - 15 calls each week from local families in need of emergency home repairs, larger rehabilitations, and energy retrofits. Last year, AHIP and its supporters helped 324 people in 148 households make 296 critical repairs and energy upgrades.