While Helpful Hands and Hearts was founded in 2012, the first access ramp wasn’t even built until July of 2013. It was just a small ramp, but it took 3 days to complete. The Ramp Team developed slowly. Developing community trust from our slowly growing group of Friends took a while. After all, who builds a ramp for free! Obtaining grant funding took even longer. It wasn’t until Helpful Hands and Hearts began to gain a strong reputation for building low cost, but high-quality ramps that funding opportunities began to slowly emerge.
It took 5 years, until April of 2018, before we even completed our 100th ramp build. Our building pace then picked up significantly. We completed our 200th ramp on January 13, 2021. An average build now takes our 8-to-12-person team anywhere from 3 to 6 hours to complete. Despite COVID, the Ramp Team was able to complete 40 ramps during 2020. Emerging out of COVID, the Ramp Team is sustaining a build pace of 1 ramp each week.
Helpful Hands and Hearts does our best to help those in need. When you think about it, if someone actually needs a ramp, they need it NOW, or more likely YESTERDAY. Our Director of Ramps, spends a lot of time visiting each and every person asking for a ramp. He or she will assess their individual situation and determine if Helpful Hands and Hearts can offer assistance. If we cannot help, we will do our best to advise you of other options.
Based upon the specific build plan, we determine the amount of lumber required for each ramp build. Then there’s the small issue of ordering, buying, and getting the lumber staged onto our trailer a few days before the build. On build days, both the lumber trailer and a tool trailer are pulled to the job site. Keeping the tool trailer well organized and stocked, is no small task. Showing up without screws, gasoline, or charged batteries can be a show-stopper.
Each ramp has a different story, both that of the Friend who is being helped and the challenges addressed by the Ramp Team to help out each unique Friend. Take a moment to visit our Ramp page to see some of the stories and learn more about how the program works.
Have you been thinking about joining a group that truly Makes a Difference in other people’s lives? Learn more about becoming a Volunteer at Helpful Hands and Hearts.