New “Ramps for Neighbors” Ministry is Introduced.

Imagine having a member of your family suddenly paralyzed or wheelchair-bound due a car accident, stroke, or aneurysm.  In addition to all the emotional upheaval, you have to deal with doctors, insurance companies, and physical therapists – all the while trying to buoy the spirits of your loved one.  Then you realize that they will be coming home soon, AND THERE IS NO WAY THEY CAN GET INTO THE HOUSE! At coffee hour on Sunday, June 4th, the Stone Soup committee proposed a new ministry called “Ramps for Neighbors” to address this need – and the parish approved it.  This is a program where All Saints parishionners would build handicap ramps at the homes of people who were newly disabled and needed a ramp for access. This is a perfect way for us to help our neighbors in need while, at the same time, getting our message out into the world!

How did this program come about? Fr. Sean had told the Stone Soup group about a program with which his church in Texas was involved building ramps at the homes of people who are wheelchair bound. This program seemed like the perfect successor to the no longer functioning annual West Virginia Work Camp. We have the knowledge and the skills to do this. That was the first nudge from the Holy Spirit. The need became vital sooner than we expected when Tricia Mescal’s sister-in-law suffered a life-threatening event and will soon be coming home using a wheelchair. As Dave Kuzara said on that Sunday, “This was not a nudge – the Holy Spirit was using a cattle prod!” – it was time to get moving.

As you can imagine, this will take the involvement of a lot of people – there is a job for everyone here. We need people to help design the ramp and to work with the local building department to get a permit issued.  We need people to buy building materials at lumber companies, Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc.  We also need the use of a truck to transport materials and a barn or garage space to store those materials. Once a ramp is completed, we plan to have a neighborhood celebration with food and signs, so we need people to prepare that. 

Since we don’t have time for a fundraiser to buy materials for our first ramp, we are asking for donations. WE HAVE A DONOR WHO HAS AGREED TO MATCH THE FIRST $500 OF DONATIONS! You can donate online at the All Saints’ Realm account by choosing “Ramps for Neighbors” in the Fund drop down list. Give HERE.  You can also drop a check in the offering plate (or the office) with “Ramps for Neighbors” written in the memo line.

We shall probably need a licensed contractor to check our plan and make sure it is OK. Do you know any one who might be willing to give us a hand? We are working with the Westford Building Department to make sure everything is done up to code, etc. In the future we need to buy an enclosed trailer to store and transport materials. We will also need to plan fundraisers, and in the long term, to apply for grants. There are probably other things we have not thought of – let us have your ideas.

We shall have two committees – if you would like to be involved in the actual building aspects of this (sourcing materials, working with Building Department, building the ramp, etc.) contact Dave Kuzara. If you would like to be involved in the support aspect (fund raising, food, grant writing, signs for celebrations, etc.) contact Janet Ceasar. There are also sign up sheets in the narthex. Please use them to let us know how you would like to help and add your own ideas.

This is a great opportunity to show the love of Christ in our local community. Join us. Updates on the church website to be coming soon. All Saints’ out in the world!