Through the Texas Ramp Project, Waxahachie Rotary Club members build ramps to aid and assist all ages who lack some of the basic functions


An 85-year-old recipient said she had not been out of her home in three years. Another recipient, a little younger, said that she was stuck inside for months awaiting someone to take her out to buy some groceries. Another could not make it to his car to go anywhere in months. A 13-year-old girl who is limited from ever walking on her own again received the ability to move around. They’ve each been able to leave the confines of their home after being shut inside, like the others, waiting and dependent. 

Through the Texas Ramp Project, wheelchair ramps are being built to aid and assist all ages who lack some of the basic functions, and who are facing architectural barriers that limit their ability to go or travel beyond the boundaries of their door front door or porch in most cases. They need freedom and access in some cases to survive. Canes, crutches, joint replacements, and prosthetics contribute to their limitations.

Saying that a person is qualified with limitations means that they can do and, in many cases, do more with some accommodations. A ramp is also an accommodation. So often we take our freedoms and access for granted, never needing to weigh the lack of freedom, and the loss of those liberties of mobility we enjoy unimpeded. 

There is a group of Waxahachie Rotary Club members who volunteer to aid and assist people by building them ramps. These members give hours of their time, energy, and labor every week to build ramps. Their only reward is the tears of joy, thanks, appreciation, and expressions of so many recipients. 

The customized ramps are constructed to each home’s characteristics, structure, and limitations. The building of ramps by the Rotarians is limited to the Ellis County area. The entire construction process is usually accomplished in one day.

The building materials are financed by the state. The structures are drawn up as blueprints after the initial consultation with the recipient. Based on the design, a partially constructed frame is built within a workshop by a skeleton crew. The frame, along with additional building materials, is transported and delivered to the worksite. The entire crew of volunteers then comes together to construct the customized ramp.

There is no shortage of demand for the construction of ramps in Texas. The barrier of weather, need for additional volunteers, financing, gauntlets of access, other service projects and time limit our ability to meet the increasing demands. 

Rotary is a group of professional men and women who believe in “Service Before Self,” and helping and uplifting their community. The Waxahachie Rotary has been a part of the growth and development of the Waxahachie community, and the city’s growth and development, for more than 100 years. It has been a driving force for change and has been instrumental in so many of the community structures, buildings, and symbols that stand today and have made Waxahachie famous.

We are all one split second away from losing our own mobility and freedom, and none of us know if or when we or one of our family members will be overcome. Let’s keep those without limitations and barriers safe, help lessen the barriers, and help eliminate the restrictions for those less fortunate. 

The Waxahachie Sun, Column: Behind the walls, By STEPHEN V. HUNT SR. Guest Columnist, October 30, 2023

Stephen V. Hunt Sr. is a member of Rotary Chapter 5810, Waxahachie.