AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Texas Ramp Project here in Amarillo builds wheelchair ramps for residents at least once a month on a case-by-case basis.
And though today’s project came together at the last minute, for their client it was right on time.
Volunteers surprised one Amarillo resident this morning when a wheelchair build had to be cancelled and he was moved up on the list.
“I answered the phone and he said they wanted to move us up and I said that’s fine with me,” said Amarillo resident John Aaron Brigman.
Brigman said he’s mostly stuck in the house without a wheelchair ramp.
“It’s been real hard,” he said. “I don’t get out very much and I only get out to where I can go where they have marked carts or whatever because I can’t walk very far.”
Those with the Texas Ramp Project say a home without wheelchair access can be difficult for handicapped residents both with and without a caregiver.
“They might not have a spouse that is able to get them in and out of the house so if they don’t have that support then they’re going to get worn out themselves,” said facilitator Jim Ziolkowski. “So not only does it provide freedom for the client but it helps their caregiver as well.”
Members of the men’s group at Polk Street United Methodist Church were joined by other volunteers today to work on building a ramp for Brigman.
“We just get different functions to help us and volunteers so it’s just kind of a combination of getting a group effort together,” said volunteer J.P. Davis.
Davis has been volunteering with the Texas Ramp Project for three years and believes it’s a more than rewarding experience.
“It’s just probably more gratifying to me to see these people you put a smile on their face where they know they can get out and interact with the public a little bit more,” said Davis. “So it’s just a good cause and it doesn’t take long to do it, you know, it takes half of a Saturday so it’s a good way to spend the weekend.”
Those in need of wheelchair access can go through a Texas Ramp Project case manager or have their doctor’s office fill out an online referral form. For information on how to do so and how to become a volunteer, visit their website or call Jim Ziolkowski at 806-654-9629.
“This is a blessing I’ve been waiting for and didn’t think it was ever going to come, but here it is and I’m just overjoyed. Just excited. It’s going to be amazing, I think,” said Brigman.
Brigman encourages those without wheelchair access around their home to reach out and get the help they need.
“If anybody needs help or anything, they just need to do like I did and get on the internet and search whatever you can find to get help,” he said. “If you’re strapped and can’t get by, it really helps. It really does.”