Dear Friends,

As we enter the Christmas season, we all need to remember that this is a great opportunity for all of us to raise some funds to help our clients across Texas. One way to do that is to be visible in the media (TV, newspapers and online) by publicizing and building Christmas ramps.
What you all do is a feel-good story done over and over. I would encourage you to identify a client who is outspoken in their need and build for that client wearing Santa hats. I would try to get the client to wear a Santa hat as well. Decorate the ramp with red ribbons and bows. 

The key part of this is to make local media aware of your build, so that you can get the widespread publicity that they can offer.
This is no different than usual with the exception of tracking down the media and applying some Christmas flourishes.

Make the whole project festive. Choose a ramp that is 24 feet or more in length. A short ramp won't work nearly as well. Might be a good time to add donuts and some family members, too! After all, they have supported your efforts throughout the year! Make sure that our website gets listed in any media story: 

Personally, I would like to express my gratitude to each of you for building throughout the year in weather that wasn't always welcoming (read July/August heat). You are the soul of this effort and keep the ball rolling. The project cannot work without you.
Wishing you and your families the happiest of holidays, and remember to send in the pictures of your Christmas builds.


Need Referrals? 

Some regions are reporting that they are not receiving referrals, or that referrals have slowed down. So this is the time to knock on the doors of home health care agencies, hospitals, dialysis centers and veterans’ services in your area. You may have done this in the past, but now, as (hopefully) the pandemic is lifting, it might be time to reacquaint the referral sources with the excellent work of TRP.
We know, you'd probably rather be building ramps. But it's hard to build ramps when you don't have anyone to build for. Let us know how we can help.
'Tis the Season for Giving

As the holidays roll around, generosity abounds. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if some of that generosity helped build wheelchair ramps in this season of high lumber prices? We encourage everyone to consider the Texas Ramp Project in your holiday giving. Mention it to your church groups, civic clubs, family and friends. Do we really need another tie or package of potpourri? A donation to the Texas Ramp Project is a gift that really matters.

Dallas Mavericks' Moses Brown Builds with TRP

Dallas Mavericks’ Moses Brown and others joined members of the 301st Fighter Wing Joint Reserve in November to build ramps for two clients in Dallas. The event was part of the NBA’s annual Hoops for Troops week. The Mavs also provided a $2,500 donation. Photo from
TRP Board Member Spotlight
Kay Champagne
When John Laine reached out to Kay Champagne in early 2009 to join the Texas Ramp Project, annual revenue stood at $146,000. Since then, donations have increased every year, breaking the $1 million mark in 2015. Revenue in 2021 will approach $1.5 million. Rising income has allowed TRP volunteers to build more than 21,600 ramps for their fellow Texans in need.
“Without a doubt, the biggest single reason behind the expansion of the
Texas Ramp Project over the past dozen years is the talent and the ability of Kay Champagne to raise funds from various foundations,” says Garner McNett, president of the Texas Ramp Project’s board of directors.

“I have been amazed at all the committed people I’ve met through TRP,” Kay says. “I talk to so many volunteers in the course of writing grants for the various regions. They are all wonderful and willing to help. I can’t think of any job—volunteer or paid—where I could have a greater positive impact on such a large number of people.”
When Kay Champagne retired in 2008, she looked forward to active involvement in just the right thing. She had three requirements. It must take advantage of her skills and expertise, developed over a 35-year career in writing and editing. It must allow her to give back to a community that had done so much for her. And she must be passionate about it.
Exactly one year later, she was offered two opportunities: start up a speaker program at her church, and write grants to foundations to raise funds for the Texas Ramp Project. She chose both.
Grants Received
End of Year Brings Funding Bonanza
The CHRISTUS Community Health Care Innovation Fund has approved a $100,000 grant, which will be divided among 19 East Texas and Texarkana counties. The CHIF is the charitable arm of CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System, a private nonprofit health provider in East Texas. TRP has learned of approvals from several other foundations as well. They will be announced in a forthcoming newsletter.
November grants and donations include the following:

  • $15,000 for Dallas from the W.P. & Bulah Luse Foundation.
  • $10,000 for San Antonio from the DEW Foundation.
  • $10,000 for Bryan/College Station from the Lucille & John B. Dougherty Trust.
  • $6,000 (of a $10,000 grant) for Comal County from the McKenna Foundation.
  • $5,000 for Wichita Falls from the Guinn Foundation.
  • $5,000 for Bryan/College Station from the Waldon H. & Adele Orr Charitable Trust.
  • $5,000 for Bryan/College Station from the Eugene Edge III Charitable Trust.
  • $4,125 for NCT East/Hunt County from the Golden K Kiwanis Club.
  • $3,500 for El Paso from the Woody & Gayle Hunt Family Foundation.
  • $2,500 for Lubbock from Caprock AMBUCS.
  • $2,500 for Dallas from the Dallas Mavericks.
  • $2,000 for statewide use from Wells Fargo.
  • $1,000 for Dallas from the Richardson Women’s Club.
  • $1,000 for Abilene from the Snyder Lions Club
  • $1,000 for San Antonio Central from H-E-B (whose employees built ramps!)
  • $1,000 for Austin Central and North from the Donald D. Hammill Foundation.
  • $1,000 for Austin East from the Fayette Community Foundation.
  • $750 for Waco from the Rotary Club of Waco Youth Service Fund.
  • $500 for Dallas from Weyerhaeuser Co.

Sad to Report. . .

The Texas Ramp Project has lost three of its dedicated volunteers. George Barnette, area coordinator in Austin West for over a dozen years, passed away in October. Long-time team leaders Dennis Laster in Abilene and Jim Dufour in Bastrop County both died in November. We at the Texas Ramp Project will miss these stalwarts and extend our deepest condolences to their family and friends.

TRP Social Media Updates & Announcements
By Madison Lopez, Social Media Editor

The Texas Ramp Project said a big THANK YOU over social media to our volunteers and donors alike for making 2021 a wonderful TRP year. We also noted in our recent posts that 2021 is not over just yet. This means there is still time to donate to the cause of hope, freedom and independence in 2021. On social media you will find the recent posts sharing the link to give, alongside heartwarming photos of people whose lives have been impacted by the work of TRP.
Remember to post the pictures of your Christmas builds with all the garlands and bows and TRP volunteers in Santa hats. Continue to circulate and engage with these posts by hitting the "like" button, commenting and sharing. Friends and family may be all the more inclined to give during this season, so let's make it count by spreading these posts far and wide. 
Just like we are connecting with people in our communities through volunteering, we can create connection to the Texas Ramp Project by being active in the online community. While the "real" work is done in-person, that impact is bolstered by getting the word out about volunteering and donating. Your posts work to make that happen. Let's build a thriving online community as we continue to build a strong volunteering community.
Remember, you can use the hashtags #TexasRampProject or #TRP to share with our community. Tag us in your photos, and follow us here:
Facebook: Texas Ramp Project 
LinkedIn: Texas Ramp Project 
Instagram: @tx_ramp_project

Building Basics
Simple Jigs and Time-Saving Tips
by Roy Harrington
Building Basics

For this month’s column we have a couple simple jigs and tips that may help with construction and cleaning up the site after each build. Please send any questions, comments or suggested construction topics to
What design do you use, or do you have other tips or suggestions to share?

Please let me know if you have found a way to build ramps better, stronger or faster that might help other teams in the state. Send your comments, suggestions or other ideas to
Click on image below for the examples of simple jigs and other tips to complete a ramp.

North Central Texas East Region

Greenville Golden Kiwanis Build 400th Ramp
On Saturday, November 13, a team of volunteers from Greenville Golden Kiwanis, four members of the Golden High School Key Club, and their sponsor built a 30-foot ramp for a very special client in Greenville. Also assisting was John Laine, TRP’s executive director.
The ramp was special because it marked a major milestone for the Golden Kiwanis. It was the 400th ramp built since the organization started supporting the Texas Ramp Project back in 2009.
This ramp definitely demonstrated to the Key Club helpers what kind of challenges we can face. As so often happens, getting the first module attached to the existing steps took some effort. The concrete was so hard, it was extremely difficult to drill the holes to attach the ramp. The client’s husband said these concrete stairs had come out of an old bank building. He was laughingly asked if the stairs had been part of the bank vault.
From warehouse to completion, it took the 13-man team 4.5 hours on site, for a cumulative total of 58.5 man-hours. The client and her husband were both very pleased with the ramp.
DO: Please Pass the Newsletter On
We hope you enjoy having the newsletter sent to you directly, as it is filled with useful information, building hints and tips, data collection updates and processes, client stories, special announcements and recognitions.

The newsletter only does its job when it is dispersed and shared with all who might be interested. We encourage you to liberally pass it on to others in your region.

Also, do send email addresses of people in your region who should be receiving it, along with their name and TRP region, to Sandy Knutson at

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