Our Response to COVID-19

Handy Wheels Volunteer Helps Central Texans Age in Place with Dignity

June 8, 2020

Eric Ketzel uses skills he learned from his father to help older Central Texans age in place with dignity.

In 2018, after retiring from IBM, where he worked 20 years as a Human Resources Manager, Eric began volunteering for Meals on Wheels Central Texas’ Handy Wheels program. Handy Wheels volunteers help clients with minor home repairs that are safety-related in nature.

As a boy, Eric learned his way around a toolbox by watching his dad tackle household repairs. Since Eric began volunteering for Handy Wheels, he’s completed more than 200 projects for clients. His most common job? “I’ve done a lot of doorbells,” he says. But he’s also installed grab bars in bathrooms, painted street numbers on curbs, changed lightbulbs, and replaced batteries in smoke detectors. Why does he do it? “The satisfaction of helping others,” he explains before adding “[the clients] are so appreciative of someone coming to help them.”

He says volunteering for Handy Wheels is a tribute to both of his parents. It warms his heart to help older adults just like his 92 year old mother, who is aging in place while living alone in Kansas. He’s also grateful to his late father, for teaching him the skills he now uses to transform lives.