El Paso Ramp Project Gets Busy in February
Saturday morning was no different. About a dozen soldiers showed up to the first site and within 10 minutes, tools and manpower were divided up between the two sites. Once again, all that could be done was stand back and watch them take the projects into their own capable hands. Their energy, determination and leadership skills were astonishing.
These soldiers are in the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA) at Fort Bliss and come from different parts of the nation and all walks of life. All of the soldiers were united in their desire to help other people. Their eagerness to help the community just could not go unnoticed. Not to mention the fact that neither soldier was actually from El Paso.
“I think it’s great, offering freedom to people who need help and to their families who assist them every day,” said Master Sgt. Marc Hickey, a USASMA Class 58 student and ramp project committee chairperson at the academy. “Otherwise, these people are restricted to their homes, and that’s just not right.”
The homes in the central area of El Paso were built next to the mountain and during a time when accessibility was not a major concern. They have a traditional look with porches and high steps which make ramp building a challenge. For most of these homes, the El Paso Ramp Project focuses on building the ramps from the back door with an additional small ramp for the front porch. Thanks to these sergeants, two clients in this area were able to receive ramps that helped them immediately.
Maria S., one of our recent clients with diabetes, fell a year ago in her bathroom. She has lived in her home since 1966 and found it difficult to get out of her house after the incident. She found our organization and her ramp was built within a couple of hours. To our amazement when our team returned thirty minutes after the build was finished to pick some of our supplies, we found her sitting in her backyard enjoying the sun. It was truly amazing to find her there because before that morning, it would have been impossible for her to have done something so simple as sitting in her backyard and enjoying the early spring on her own.
Azaela P., another El Paso Ramp Project client, was unable to live with her mother because her home was just plain inaccessible. This young medical assistant experienced three strokes within a two year period which severely affected her mobility. Her strength and noticeable desire to live life to the fullest made this ramp build extremely fulfilling for everyone involved. She was ready to live with her mother and join her out in the world once again.
These families were helped thanks to the generous volunteers we found at Fort Bliss, the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy.