FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APPLICATIONS FOR WHEELCHAIR RAMPS REQUIRED BY MARCH 1
Binghamton, N.Y., Jan. 13, 2010 . . . . . Residents in Broome County who need a wheelchair ramp to get in and out of their homes need to apply by March 1, 2010, to the Broome County Council of Churches to be eligible for consideration for a free ramp under the Council’s “Ramp It Up 2010” Program.
The Council of Churches will evaluate each application based on the needs of the recipients. In 2009, the Council of Churches with the cooperation of several organizations and youth groups and mentors built 13 ramps during the summer.
“Some members of these families probably hadn’t been out of their homes in years,” according to Joanne Kays, director of the Faith in Action Volunteers Program of the Council, who coordinated the “Ramp It Up 2009” Program with Greg Jenkins, Volunteer/Facilities manager of the Council.
Last year the Council of Churches raised more than $25,000 for the ramp program, including a grant of $9,000 to the First Ward Action Council from The Community Foundation of South Central New York, and $10,000 from Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church. Other participants were Home Depot, Broome Leadership Institute of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, and several congregational youth groups. Some teams raised additional money for the ramps that they built. Estimated cost for each ramp is about $1,500.
“The Council of Churches took this opportunity to help groups work together through this intergenerational program,” said Mr. Jenkins. “It gave the youth from a dozen congregations a realistic look at what some members of the community, including the elderly, go through confined to a wheelchair. It was an eye-opener for the youth, and most residents seemed to enjoy having the young people around for a weekend.”
In 2009, 13 families received a ramp, usually constructed over a single weekend. More than 110 youth worked within the 2009 inaugural program. The ramps this year are scheduled for construction on weekends May through August.
For an application, contact Mrs. Kays at 724-9130 ext. 304, or visit www.broomecouncil.net. Ramp application deadline is March 1.
Under the Council of Churches’ youth mentor initiative mission statement, it says “…the initiative is a volunteer mission to promote service, learning, and community involvement for youth.”