FUMC builds free wheelchair ramps for residents


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The Marshall News Messenger

By Robin Y. Richardson  |  

First United Methodist Church, with the assistance of the East Texas Baptist University baseball team, blessed three Harrison County residents, last Saturday, equipping their homes with new wheelchair ramps through a partnership with the Texas Ramp Project.

“We’ve been with the Texas Ramp Project for four years,” said Monte Bacon, a member of the church’s wheelchair ramp team.

The organization, based in Richardson, builds free wheelchair ramps for disabled or elderly citizens who aren’t able to afford one.

“We’ve built a total of 83 ramps,” Bacon said of FUMC’s team, sharing they’ve built ramps in both Harrison and Marion County over the course of four years.

The three ramps built this past Saturday were on John Reagan Street, Oscar Moore Road and on Strickland Springs Road, located southeast of Marshall.

“We met at First Methodist Church at 7:30 a.m. and split up into three groups and went out there and got started. The last one got through at 12:45 p.m.,” he said, noting a total of 36 ETBU students joined them.

Bacon said the church has loved being a part of the program, helping carry out its mission, which is “building freedom for the homebound.”

“We found out about it and thought it would be a good thing for us to do,” he said. “We have a really fabulous team of volunteers that do it.

“We love doing it,” he said.

Donations to the Texas Ramp Project help supply the material needed to build the ramps.

“The money comes from the Texas Ramp Project. People donate to that and they pay for the wood and they send us the (information for) people that need a ramp; and we contact them and go out there and look at it and we go from there,” said Bacon.

Bacon said the recipients of the ramps are always appreciative.

“They love it. We love it. We get more out of it than they do,” Bacon said of being able to help.

“It’s fun to do it,” he added. “Some of the people we do it for honestly can’t get out of their house. The lady on John Reagan, her son was having to carry her out of the steps, so it freezes them up. (Now) she can go out and sit on the porch.

“Two of them said they would go out and sit on the porch in the sun and they couldn’t that before,” he shared.

“It’s all good.”

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