Giving thanks: Communities build ramps for people in wheelchairs

This is the week when we gather together, pause on Thanksgiving and give thanks for our families, friends and the communities we live in. One thing that we can be thankful for is that so many communities undertake projects year-round that make lives better for people with disabilities.

For example, in Delaware recently, the Chesapeake Housing Mission finished its 300th project since 2009 and 75th project this year, ABC 47 reported: a wheelchair ramp for the Richardson family, who lives in Salisbury.

The ramp, built by volunteers including a group from the Salisbury Police Department, will help Mrs.Richardson, who uses a wheelchair, live a more normal life by allowing her to come and go more easily and safely.

Sponsors helped fund the costs for the ramp, which usually range from $1100 to $1500, organizers said.

And in Palermo, Maine, Habitat for Humanity volunteers have begun working on a new wheelchair ramp which will make the local food pantry building accessible to people with disabilities who need wheelchairs.

Phil White Hawk, the chief financial officer of the nonprofit Palermo Community Center run by the Living Communities Foundation, said Habitat volunteers were providing all the labor, while the foundation was picking up the cost for the materials, reported.

The new ramp makes the food pantry compliant under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and in addition to benefitting people in wheelchairs, it also will make it easier for families with children in strollers to access the food pantry.

Habitat for Humanity got involved in building the ramp because it wanted to show the community it does more than just build houses, Meg Klingelhofer, executive director of the Waldo County chapter of the charity.

She pointed out that while a house benefits a single family, the food pantry benefits many people in need, and the ramp enables more people to take advantage of the food shelf’s services.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, your friends and family and community from Intellichair, home of the best motorized Electric Wheelchair.