Richardson – The Texas Ramp Project marked a major milestone on Dec. 5 when a team of volunteers came together to help a Hill County resident regain her mobility. They installed a wheelchair ramp, free of charge, at the Itasca home of Verna Sue Comer.
The 38-foot ramp was the 20,000th that the nonprofit organization has built for older adults and others with a mobility issue. The four steps to the ground made it risky for Comer, who uses a walker, to leave home without assistance. The eight volunteers, all from White Bluff Chapel in Whitney, spent about four hours at the site on a sunny Saturday morning.
The 20,000th ramp coincides with another milestone achievement—the completion of 100 miles of ramps in over 100 Texas counties. During November and December, Texas Ramp Project volunteers across the state have been building ramps in celebration of the nonprofit’s “100 Miles of Freedom” campaign. The ramp in Itasca will help Comer and her husband, who also has mobility issues, exit their home safely and much more easily.
The nonprofit has been helping people with disabling conditions across the state for 14 years and in the Dallas area since 1985. If all the ramps built during that time were laid end-to-end, they would stretch for 100 miles, easily reaching from Dallas to Waco.
The ramps provide safety, independence and an improved quality of life for each recipient. Most ramps cost between $700 and $800 to build—about one-third of a typical retail contractor installation. The Texas Ramp Project is able to keep its costs low thanks to a grassroots organization with only one full-time employee as well as some 3,500 volunteers across the state.
“The Texas Ramp Project is an absolute joy from a human standpoint,” says John Laine, founder and executive director. “It brings us into contact with people we might never meet otherwise, and we can effectively change their life in a few hours.”
The Texas Ramp Project is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit that provides free ramps to low-income people with disabilities, without regard to the recipient’s age, gender, religion, race or ethnicity. Ramps are built exclusively with volunteer labor, keeping costs to a minimum. The nonprofit’s ramps provide safety, independence and improved quality of life to recipients and relief to their families and caregivers. The ramps are built following ADA guidelines and are safe, strong and durable. Volunteers are always welcome.