Texas Ramp Project Newsletter
Volume 3, Issue 6
June, 2021
Greetings from the Texas Ramp Project Executive Director

This month I am going to spend a little time talking about prioritization of referrals. We see tons of referrals, but certainly some are more urgent than others, and doing them in order of receipt is to ignore those differences. So, let’s talk about what to prioritize and when.
In my estimation, one of our most urgent needs is listed as having a dangerous existing ramp. This may mean (and usually does) a ramp that is too steeply sloped. People will continue to use dangerous ramps because they probably have no choice. It is in the way of their safe exit. If they had no ramp, they would likely get some help getting out, but they will use a bad ramp despite the dangers it presents.
You have all seen these ramps without handrails, and they are an accident waiting to happen. Please don’t consider them as low priority. No existing ramp may in fact be preferable to a dangerous ramp, just as a car without brakes is worse than no car at all.
My second thought is to work on the most urgently needed ramps first. A referral that you see today may be much more badly needed that a referral that is 6 to 12 months old, or more. The date of referral should not be discounted, but it also should not be the primary reason for selection to build. Let’s get those disasters solved first!
Have a great month, John Laine

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Volunteer Spotlight:
George Swarner

San Antonio Central Coordinator

Take a 33-year military career plus 12 years as a schoolteacher and what do you get? A no-nonsense, get it done in the best possible way area coordinator like George Swarner. Last year George stepped up as area coordinator of the San Antonio Central region, which is mainly Bexar County, and has been managing it in that mode ever since.
George started building ramps 13 years ago as a member of The Saturday Morning Men of CBC (Community Bible Church). He has been a team leader since inception and has in recent years handled surveys, warehouse operations, recruiting, public relations and client relations. He was a natural to follow long-time coordinator Larry Milton.

Grants Received
East Texas Responds to the Challenge Grant:

Earlier this spring TRP received a $25,000 challenge grant covering 14 East Texas counties from the Carl C. Anderson, Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation. We issued a call to the five area coordinators in East Texas, asking them to look for local funding so TRP can claim these challenge funds.
The response was tremendous. During April and May, East Texas volunteers collected nearly $23,000 toward the match. Just a few more dollars will secure the match.

Major funding came from Carthage Furniture Store, Tyler AMBUCS, Broad Street Church of Christ, First UMC Hallsville, Gladewater Rotary Club, Tina Griffith & Co., DVDM Media, and Teacups and Gingerbread.

Other churches, businesses and local organizations also contributed. It has been a brilliant effort.

Waco South, which includes McLennan County, has been working with Habitat for Humanity to support ramp construction. So far this year Habitat has provided over $12,000 in funding for our Waco ramp builders. This has proved to be a very successful partnership.

Other recent grants include:

 $15,000 from the Byrd Fielder Livengood Charitable Trust for Texoma/Grayson County.

$10,000 from the United Way of the Brazos Valley for Bryan/College Station.

$5,000 from the Art & Eva Camunez Tucker Foundation for San Angelo.

$2,500 from the Foundation for Southeast Texas for Beaumont.

$1,650 from Central Baptist Church Hillsboro for Waco North.

 $1,250 from the Texas Methodist Foundation for Williamson County.

Wrapping Up a Very Successful School Year
By Madison Lopez, Social Media Editor
Wrapping up the month of May means wrapping up the end of the school year for many. Even while the school year has been an unconventional one for many students, TRP has boasted wonderful efforts and enthusiasm from youth across the state amid a challenging school year.

We thank you for sharing your excitement about TRP through social media channels, encouraging other young people to give back and serve. TRP and its social media followers have loved seeing the photos across social media from students and youth organizations volunteering.
From middle school to high school to college aged students, so many have come together to accomplish great work with TRP.

Here are just a few of our favorite photos shared by students and organizations from this past school year.

Way to go! Remember to follow TRP on social media, so you can see and share photos like these.
Facebook: Texas Ramp Project

LinkedIn: Texas Ramp Project

Instagram: @tx_ramp_project

Twitter: @texasramps
Building Basics
Introduction to Modules

Last month we covered the survey process and I received a couple questions about the use of 5x5 modules which will be specifically covered in a future newsletter. Please send any comments or questions about last month’s column or this one to royh85@verizon.net.

This month, we’ll start with a ramp build planning overview and one version of module designs with diagrams and a list of the needed lumber.

There are lots of steps needed to get prepared for a ramp build day which may all be done by the team leader or distributed to a couple team members.
Click on image below for full document and module designs
"Let's Ramp" Says It All
RAMP OF THE MONTH: Smith County, East Texas - Tyler

Ms. Bettie D., 91, uses a rollator walker to get around. Her home has four steps which make it almost impossible for her to safely enter and exit her home without a ramp. Eleven volunteers from Green Acres Baptist Church built her 46 foot ramp with 55 hours of volunteer labor. 
Anita, from WellMed Supportive and Palliative Care was over the moon with Bettie's ramp:


I am almost in tears knowing what you did for this patient. Sometimes it is just so hard for our seniors. I know that our patients feel so good knowing there are people out there like you who truly care.

Again, let me say thank you so much. I am more grateful than you know. All the best to each of you."
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 sjkbits@aol.com.
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