For many Americans who are confined to a wheelchair, simply leaving their homes can be a daunting task. Without a wheelchair ramp it can be nearly impossible.
North Carolina Baptist church groups and other volunteer teams will have an opportunity April 28 to help those with this need.
For the first time N.C. Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) will join forces with Operation Inasmuch and N.C. Baptist Men to promote a one-day event, called Rampin’ Up! The effort focuses on volunteers building wheelchair ramps for homes throughout the state.
“This is an example of Baptists at their very best … when they work together,” said Sandy Gregory, director of NCBAM. “There are many seniors trapped in their homes because they cannot get down one or two steps.”
For years N.C. Baptist Men have built wheelchair ramps around the state, but keeping up with the demand hasn’t been easy.
“I average one or two requests a week for ramps,” said Gaylon Moss, who directs disaster relief efforts and volunteerism for N.C. Baptist Men.
“It’s a great way for North Carolina Baptist churches to impact others for Christ by providing a legitimate need.”
Right now NCBAM, has a list of 50 people who have requested wheelchair ramps. Coordinators with Rampin’ Up!, however, encourage groups to find other individuals in their community who need a wheelchair ramp.
Moss and Gregory, along with other event coordinators, hope to see more than 300 ramps built during the one-day event. Right now there are about 20 teams signed up.
Coordinators encourage groups to hold fundraising events to raise money for needed supplies. Building one ramp can run between $1,000 and $1,500. One decking board is about $8.
Suggestions for fundraising include: bake sales, car washes and youth service auctions that feature babysitting, house cleaning, yard work, or groups can host a special dinner event. Other ideas include holding a 5k fun run and walk or other special tournament events that involve games such as bowling.
Those who sign up online before April 1 will have an opportunity to win one of four $750 awards for ramp supplies. Those who sign up by March 1 will have two opportunities to win. The drawing will be held April 2.
How to get involved
To find out more information about how a church group or ministry can get involved with Rampin’ Up! go to rampinup.org or ncoperationinasmuch.org. Call NCBAM at (877) 506-2226. For more information about NCBAM and the services and opportunities they offer for individuals 65 years old and up call or go to ncbam.org.