New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung
By Kay Geurin guest columnist Jan 5, 2012
To quote Steve Jobs,“Oh, wow!” The year 2011 was a great one for the Texas Ramp Project (TRP) in Comal County. I have just compiled some of the yearly stats, and in the past calendar year, TRP has completed 21 wheelchair ramps totaling 754.5 feet — just in Comal County.
Since Comal is on the edge of the Hill Country, our number of ramps does not compare with the feet, since TRP employs the average ramp size of 24 feet. Given that as a guideline, we would have built 31 ramps in another, flatter county.
Considering the fact that all of our labor is volunteer, that could have cost $19,045.81, not including the material cost. Our volunteers come from civic organizations, churches and other people who find out about TRP via a neighbor or family having a ramp constructed.
We have been so fortunate in receiving a generous grant for the McKenna Foundation to cover the cost of material. It is through the foundation’s generosity that we are able to build so many ramps in Comal. In addition, we have a warehouse, which we use to construct the modules and store material, through a generous donor who is a member of Tree of Life Church.
I know I am preaching to the choir when I explain the impact of having a safe access to a home has on the client. Being able to stay in one’s own home not only improves outlook on life, it improves quality of life and health. However, the total effect on the community is astronomical. Think of the cost to taxpayers of having emergency services come to a shut-in’s home just to help him go see his doctor. Think of the cost of having everything delivered; think about the cost of nursing home care.
This past year, I have worked with two agencies that also provide assistance for ramps, Comal County Senior Citizens and Habitat for Safe Seniors, Canyon Lake. When they are unable to build a ramp for a client because of funds or location, they send those names to Texas Ramp Project. I appreciate the networking with those two organizations.
The weather is so nice that we are continuing to build ramps. That has reduced our backlog to fewer than eight requests, and we have volunteers ready to build. So, if you have someone who is in need, please go to the website www.texasramps.org and make a referral. I never thought Comal would be in such a good situation when I started coordinating ramp building a few years ago.
I thank each and every one of you for your involvement in making 2011 such a wonderful year. My prayer is to have an even better 2012 for all of you who try and make someone’s life a little better. Thank you.
Kay Geurin is a spokeswoman for Texas Ramps, a volunteer-staffed, 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-denominational, non-governmental organization. Visit Texas Ramps at www.texasramps.org.
Would you like to lend financial support for ramp building in Comal County? Donate Here and designate Comal County.