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Ramp brings ease to local woman

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    Volunteers for the Texas Ramp Project and Deborah Rickman show off the beginning of her newly constructed ramp to ease access into her home. The Vindicator | Russell Payne
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Greg Henke talks with one of the volunteers as they install a new ramp for Deborah Rickman. The Vindicator | Russell Payne

DAYTON – Many of us take so much for granted and likely never put any thought into the ease with which we go in and out of our homes, but when that ease is hindered, that perspective changes.

Deborah Rickman has recently encountered some of those hard times getting around and walking, creating issues for her getting in and out of her home.

That’s where a program called the Texas Ramp Project came into play, along with a group of volunteers from around the area to give her a little peace of mind.

“First of all, I felt very blessed and like I was queen for a day,” Rickman continued, “they were all volunteers, and I was just amazed.”

The organization is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that provides wheelchair ramps for older adults and people with disabilities identified by local health care providers.

Once an individual is approved, vol- unteers come in and provide labor, helping keep costs minimal.

Leading the effort to organize volunteers was Les Abner of Dayton, who always volunteers for projects around the community and was excited to be a part of everything “I just started making phone calls and looking into what to do to help,” said Abner.

He looked for volunteers around the area, and they came out and gave a helping hand in any way they could.

“ The people are just good loyal, and hardworking people,” said Abner.

The Texas Ramp Project is based out of Dallas, and they depend on the efforts of others around the state. This particular project was under the direction of Greg Henke.

“ I’ve been doing this since about 2013 with a church down in Houston. We build a ramp that’s up to ADA specifications,” said Henke.

Henke spoke of the many reasons that individuals need help getting in and out of their homes for various medical reasons and the need to be able to access driveways as well.

“You know a one-inch lift may as well be a sixfoot wall,” he said.

The project was completed six hours after volunteers started, and Rickman was beyond a happy camper.

“ My kids wanted me to tie a ribbon and cut it before I went down the ramp,” she said.

The project was a definite success, and Abner will join some other projects after making connections on the Rickman ramp project.

“I’ve already been called to go help with two other ramp projects,” he concluded.

For more information on the Texas Ramp Project, visit them online at