August 2022 Newsletter
Volume 4, Issue 8
Exciting News: Nameplates
Coming in September, TRP will have nameplates that can be affixed to every ramp we build. The nameplates will be sent to each region in September with hardware and instructions for attaching them to the ramps.
The nameplate is 3x3 inches and has black lettering on white aluminum. They should stand up well to Texas weather.
More News: New TRP Display

We are in the process of designing a new tabletop display as well as a pull-up banner for use at conferences and meetings. More and more regions are having opportunities to present the TRP story in their communities. By having these tools, you’ll be able to put TRP’s best foot forward. Details will be available in September.
Recent Grants and Donations
Banking on the CRA
The Texas Ramp Project continues to pursue partnerships with local banks that have Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) funds to invest in local nonprofits. TRP was one of four nonprofits featured on July 27 at CRA Connections, a conference of bank compliance officers from smaller cities and rural areas. Over 80 banks attended the Zoom event, which was sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
As part of the program, TRP board member Kay Champagne offered a 10-minute presentation outlining how the Texas Ramp Project meets eligibility requirements for CRA investment and how banks can benefit. She stressed that any funds provided by the banks would remain in the local community and would serve only low-income families. 
The Community Reinvestment Act is a federal regulation designed to encourage banks to help meet the credit and community development needs in the communities where they operate. The banks are required to report back on their CRA activity. Banks often partner with and support local nonprofits as part of their overall CRA strategy.

Volunteer of the Month
Thomas Canfield
Coordinator for Gillespie and Kerr Counties
San Antonio Northwest Region

Tom Canfield has gotten around. He is currently living in his ninth location and 14th home. He moved to Fredericksburg in 2011 to be near his son’s family. He participated in his first ramp build in 2014 as a member of Fredericksburg United Methodist Church. By 2015 he was team leader, coordinating referrals and builds for Gillespie and Kerr counties.

Tom was raised in George West, Texas. He received an engineering degree from UT–Austin and worked with Allis-Chalmers and Conoco in Illinois, Arizona, Oklahoma and Montana before returning to George West to ranch and run the family grocery. Then it was another 22 years of engineering, refinery work and research in Corpus Christi and Tyler before ending up in Fredericksburg.

Tom is not really sure when he retired, but says, “Now I am definitely not employed but seem to be working hard with volunteer work and hobby woodturning.” The latter is described as the craft of using a wood lathe and other hand tools to shape round objects such as pens or bowls—a sharp contrast to building a ramp.

As Gillespie County coordinator, Tom works with Jody Donovan to split referrals between the two teams. Tom leads all ramp builds in Kerr County. He does surveys, orders lumber, and schedules builds based on when volunteers are available. He transports lumber and tools in his pickup and does precutting himself to cut down work at the site.
Tom says he enjoys working with the different volunteers serving others. “It makes me more appreciative of the health and living situation that I have,” he says. “My favorite part is seeing the happy faces of the clients/caregivers when the ramp is completed.”
Tom and his late wife, Jan, were blessed with two sons and a daughter and have seven grandchildren, all in their 20s. His older son in nearby Mason has been helping build ramps this year and may want to initiate the project in Mason County. Because Tom and Jan had to skip their honeymoon, he says he “ended up paying with a dozen trips to Hawaii,” plus cruises and other travel. They also paid frequent visits to see grandchildren in distant cities.
Tom’s interest in woodturning has led to membership in East Texas Woodturners in Tyler and currently Hill Country Turners in Kerrville. He has done demonstrations at the local clubs and at the big Southwest Association of Woodturners in Waco.

Tom submitted a group photo because he believes the group supporting him is more important than himself as an individual. “The group makes it happen,” he says. “I have said several times that I like to run my chainsaw and would almost pay to use it. The same can be said about building ramps. Using some woodworking skills and working with a group of volunteers is a big reward.”

Tom is in the middle with the wide-brimmed hat in his hand.
TRP Highlighted at Habitat Conference

The Texas Ramp Project was introduced to Habitat for Humanity Texas leaders and key volunteers at their annual Lone Star Summit August 1–3 in San Marcos. John Alexander of Waco Habitat for Humanity told the assembly about their successful partnership with TRP’s Waco volunteers over the past two years. He distributed a flyer providing information on how to join up with the various TRP regions.

Habitat for Humanity Texas provides education, technical assistance, and resources to empower Texas affiliates while they are on the ground in their local communities. TRP currently has agreements with three affiliates: Waco, Fort Hood Area and Fayette County. Hopefully our exposure at this Lone Star Summit will encourage affiliates to partner with TRP in their respective regions.

You don’t need to wait for HFH to come to you. To find out how to contact the HFH affiliate in your region, go to

Donations Made Easy: Use Donor Box
by Madison Lopez
This month, we would love to remind you how easy it is to spread the word about giving to TRP! On your social media, one of the easiest and best ways for you to encourage others to donate is by simply sharing our Donor Box link:

 Simply copy and paste the link into your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn post, and write a clear and encouraging message. One of the best parts about posting the accessible link is that you don’t need a special occasion to do it. You can share the link anytime, as often as you like.
Helpful tips for writing a post that encourages donations:

  1. Start your post with a clear message. For example, "You can make a difference by giving today!" OR "The Texas Ramp Project is a fantastic organization to support."
  2. Make it personal. Share a piece of your own unique experience with TRP. Perhaps a story about your favorite build, or how it feels to make a difference by building a ramp.
  3. Explain that a small gift goes a long way. One of the things that makes TRP unique is the very small overhead costs we incur as an organization. This fact lends itself to generating confidence and commitment in our donors. 

Remember to follow us on all our social media platforms and to encourage your own followers to give us a like or a share. 
Remember to follow us on our main social media pages as well.
Building Basics
by Roy Harrington
Building Basics

Several building jigs have been covered in this column. This month we’ll look at a jig to help surveyors, plus another way to do buttresses, which were covered in the June newsletter.

Simple and Cheap Surveyor Jig

I recently started carrying along three scraps from a ramp build when I do surveys: a short 2x6, a short 5/4 deck board, and a small piece of plywood.

The longest one in this picture is about 15 inches, so these are scraps that can be found at the end of many ramp builds.

The reason I carry these scraps is to better determine the right threshold ramp solution, particularly in cases where a door will have to clear the completed transition ramp.
I have had the experience of using a measuring tape to check door clearance, and then on build day finding an unexpected clearance issue. These boards give me a way to quickly evaluate options with readily available lumber thicknesses, either individually or in combination.

Click on the image below for the whole article.
Do you have other tips or suggestions to share?

A lot of very good ideas are being developed by ramp builders across the state. Please send any questions, comments or potential ramp construction topics to to help others build ramps better, stronger and faster.  

Ramp of the Month
Dallas County
Dallas Region

Ms. L., 79, recently underwent an amputation and is required to use a wheelchair for mobility. She had an existing ski chute of a ramp, which was extremely dangerous for her and her caregiver. Ms. L.’s new 48-foot ramp was built by nine Dallas Ramp Project volunteers, who committed 32 hours of labor. The referral for this ramp was made by a social worker at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation. 
A major improvement, which will provide a safe way for Ms. L. to enter and exit her home.
Pass the Newsletter On to Others
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

If you prefer to NOT receive the newsletter, you can unsubscribe by emailing and asking for your name to be removed or use the "Unsubscribe" link below.