There are so many organizations that have the right idea when it comes to serving our community but that lack the necessary support to flourish. One example of this is the Texas Ramp Project — a statewide nonprofit group that builds ramps for those who can’t afford it.
The group has been working tirelessly across the state since 1985 — when it initially formed as a project of the Richardson Kiwanis Club — and for years they’ve been laboring here in the Hill Country to provide assistance to area residents.
However, over the last few years, a lot of this work has been done through the efforts of Tom Canfield of Fredericksburg, and volunteers, organizations and business donations from Gillespie County, which is neighborly work for sure.
Canfield gets donations, organizes labor and is the first to admit that he’s not getting any younger. In fact, if you look at the volunteers, it’s a good bet that the median age is 72 years old.
The need here in Kerr County, at least according to Canfield, is great, with at least a half dozen projects ready to go at any one time. Last week, Canfield led a group of volunteers from Kerrville’s First Presbyterian Church, which included three teenaged boys, and the reliable folks from the Fredericksburg United Methodist Church.
While this was going on, another group of volunteers worked to build a ramp for a deserving veteran here in Kerrville.
The ramps that are being built are for those — of all ages — with severe mobility issues. Canfield’s team, which has built more than 30 ramps, has built a ramp for a 1-year-old child on a respirator. At the same time, they were not able to build a ramp in Mountain Home for a family with disabled children, because there were not enough volunteers to do the work.
Fortunately, we have dedicated neighbors such as Canfield, who strive to make this a better place, and we’re grateful for the assistance his team received from a handful of Kerrville-area volunteers.
Still, we’d like to see another group step forward and help manage the project here in Kerrville. The Texas Ramp Project has all of the know-how and tools to efficiently build a reliable ramp for someone in a wheelchair or motorized scooter, but where they’re lacking is in sheer volunteer power.
We need to make this work.
For more information about the Texas Ramp Project, just visit texasrampprogect.org.