Wheelchair Ramp Build, November 19, 2016
The Wheelchair Ramp Team of Messiah Lutheran Church had another successful ramp building day today. This ongoing ministry of Messiah Lutheran Church is conducted in partnership with CASA of Madison County to build fully functional and safe ramps for those in need.
One of the best parts of the ramp building ministry, besides sharing our time and talents with the community, is the fellowship we share. We always meet for breakfast before heading out for a build. Today was no exception. We met at Panera Bread in Madison to nourish our bodies and spirits before heading out.
The materials for these ramps are provided by CASA which stands for Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound. CASA is a non-profit agency located in Huntsville, Alabama that provides services to individuals age 60 and older and to the homebound (wheelchair and bed bound) of all ages since 1979. CASA’s mission is to provide needed services to aging/homebound individuals that allow them to remain at home and age in place. Our programs are designed to enable the elderly and homebound to maintain their independence, dignity, health and safety by providing services that specifically address their special physical and emotional needs.
The first piece of the ramp is always the hardest, but we have a ton of experienced builders who know how to do things right. Once we get the first piece in place and attached to the house, the rest of the ramp goes pretty quickly.
Each ramp section is supported by multiple upright supports which are then cross braced. Every member of the team has their specialty task.
Once the ramp sections are in place, a team then secures the decking material.
Without a doubt, the hardest part of the ramp build is driving the stakes for the upright supports. This particular ramp required 68 stakes to be driven into the ground. In the case of this ramp, the ground was very rocky and the stake driving was very difficult. Luckily we have some strong team members who took turns driving stakes and made it look easy.
After the decking material is in place, a team follows behind and puts the railing and bumpers in place. The railings and bumpers are important for ensuring that the wheelchair stays safely on the ramp.
And in only four hours on site the ramp was complete and team was ready for a group photo.
The Messiah Lutheran Church ramp team is one of the many teams in the greater Huntsville area that support CASA by providing teams to assemble the ramps at the client’s homes. If you would like to participate in a future wheelchair ramp build, please contact the Messiah Lutheran Church Office at 256-721-0041.