THE OBSERVER: YourHoustonNews.com
Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 2:34 pm
By Community Reports
The Men’s Ministry of Lamb of God Lutheran Church, Humble recently completed a ramp for a local resident, Les who had part of his leg amputated.
Les had no way to leave his home without the assistance of his brother, Roger. Now, Les has the freedom to move around outside.
This was the seventh ramp that Lamb of God’s Men’s Ministry has built since it joined The Texas Ramp Project in January 2015. The ramps they build can have such an impact on the lives of those in need.
This is just one story connected to the Texas Ramp Project, a statewide nonprofit that builds free wheelchair ramps for elderly and disabled people who can’t afford them on their own. The ramps are built by local volunteers.
Last year, this modern-day barn raising provided free ramps for more than 1,500 people across the state. So far this year, TRP volunteers have built over 1,000 more ramps, on almost any given day of the week.
During the week of Oct. 10–17, the Texas Ramp Project celebrated construction of its 10,000th ramp. This milestone is achieved by combining the totals of the Texas Ramp Project and the Dallas Ramp Project, now a part of the statewide organization.
Costs are kept low because the Texas Ramp Project is essentially a volunteer organization. John Laine, who serves as executive director, recruits team leaders and volunteers from local churches, service clubs, student and alumni groups and businesses. He trains and equips the volunteers to build ADA-compliant ramps that are safe, strong and durable.
Laine also introduces the program to funding sources and the local health care community. Referrals come from health care providers, social workers and local agencies, 286 a month in 2014 and over 300 a month in the current year.
TRP’s innovative business model of using volunteer labor has held the average cost of a ramp to about $600, less than a third the cost of a ramp built by a for-profit builder. The ramps have brought improved quality of life, independence and safety to the clients and eased the burden on their caregivers, often elderly spouses.
Ramps also allow clients to remain in their homes. A $600 wheelchair ramp can save taxpayers up to $80,000 a year for maintaining that client in a nursing facility at public expense.
They would love to have local companies or organizations join them to build ramps for the community. To donate to Texas Ramp Project go to their website www.texasramps.org.