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Unsafe Old Ramp

The Wheelchair Ramp Team of Messiah Lutheran Church conducted another successful ramp build 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. This was the 34th ramp built by the Messiah Team.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this was the most challenging wheelchair ramp that we have built to date.  It wasn’t the longest ramp we built. The longest ramp honor belongs to a ramp that we build in 2016. Today’s ramp had very different challenges. First off, we had to postpone this wheelchair ramp twice because of weather. Then today, it didn’t look like the weather was going to cooperate again. We decided that there would be just enough break in weather during the afternoon. Then had to demolish the existing ramp and we had to contend with very muddy ground and darkness. Sometimes you have to contend with a little adversity to help out a neighbor.

Here are some additional photos from today’s build.

Repair parts of the old ramp

The old ramp that was in place was not safe. There were places in the decking that you could stick your foot all the way through. Some of the framing was also damaged by age and water.

Installing new decking

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.

Installing New Frame Sections

Did I mention that it was a muddy work site? We had to install two new frame sections that had to be dug into the ground. This is not normally a problem, but this time the ground was the consistency of a thick pudding.

Removing old decking from porch

CASA builds wheelchair ramps for needy individuals regardless of income or age and at no cost to the client. Wheelchair ramps provide CASA clients the mobility necessary for safely entering and leaving their homes, while promoting a sense of independence and freedom and access to the outside world. Each ramp is custom designed for each client and built by CASA volunteers. By providing wheelchair ramps, we are providing our clients with the knowledge that there are people in the community who truly care about their well-being.

Installing new decking for porch

Everyone on the team has a job. Measuring, Carrying, Cutting, Assembling, and Inspecting. There are plenty of jobs to do and the team is always looking for new members who enjoy spending a Saturday morning in fellowship while helping out members of our community. No special skills are needed.

Finishing Touches

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.

Group Photo

By the time we finished this ramp build, darkness had set and it started raining again. That didn’t matter though. We succeeded in our mission of providing a way for one of our neighbors to safely enter and exit their home. That is why we do this. 

Here are some additional photos from today’s build.