January 31, 2010
Volunteers to construct ramps for the disabled
Ramp It Up 2010 to begin in May
Volunteers are expected to build as many as 15 wheelchair ramps this summer for Broome County residents who need handicapped accessibility at their homes.
Ramp It Up 2010, sponsored by the Broome County Council of Churches, will take applications until March 1 from families who want to be considered for a free wheelchair ramp.
"The need for ramps in the community is greater than what we can handle," said Greg Jenkins, volunteer/facilities manager of the council. "We do what we can."
Still, roughly 110 volunteers from church and community youth groups built 13 ramps last summer, which was the first Ramp It Up program. Adult mentors worked side-by-side with the youth.
Each ramp will be built during a weekend from May through August, said Jenkins.
The cost will be covered by a variety of sources, including the Council of Churches, local businesses and nonprofit organizations.
"Some members of these families probably hadn't been out of their homes in years," said Joanne Kays, director of the council's Faith in Action Volunteers Program.
Anyone who needs a wheelchair ramp may apply, said Jenkins. Applications will be reviewed and ramps built based on the needs of the applicant.
Go online to www.broomecouncil.net for an application and other information about the program.
Volunteers are needed, said Jenkins. The council's Web site also has information to register as a volunteer team.
Applications and volunteer information is also available by calling Kays at (607) 724-9130 ext. 304 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.