Men's ramp ministry at Reidland United Methodist adapts, but doesn't stop, in midst of COVID-19 crisis

4/20/2020

No longer-house bound, the recipient of this ramp (just inside door at top of ramp) is now able to get in and out for doctor’s visits and other emergency situations. (Submitted photo)


Submitted By
Ramp Ministry Team
Reidland United Methodist Church, Paducah, KY
 
The men of Reidland United Methodist Church in Paducah, Kentucky, have, for over a quarter century, maintained a vital community ministry by providing handicap access to those who cannot safely get in and out of their homes and can’t afford to hire a contractor. 

This ministry, uninterrupted since the mid-1990s, has provided over 800 ramps to the surrounding community (over 50 in 2019). It has, however, faced its greatest challenge to date with the current COVID-19 crisis

We want to continue providing urgently-needed ramps, but we also want to follow guidelines for proper self-protection and social distancing. So we’ve developed a protocol to make this possible.
  • We have the materials delivered to the home location of one of our team in an area separated from public access.
  • Volunteers pick a section of the ramp they want to complete and they come alone to build it, leaving the finished product on saw horses.
  • As sections and parts are completed, they’re loaded onto a trailer, using a front-end loader. When all parts are finished, the ramp is delivered to the recipient’s location.
  • We ask the recipient and family to stay inside or at a distance while we’re assembling.
  • For assembly, we work in teams of two, staggered back-to-back in two-hour increments, to finish the ramp. The two-man teams are careful to maintain proper separation as we assemble, and we keep our masks around our necks in case we encounter a situation where someone unexpectedly walks up, or we have to briefly work closer together than six feet.
Thus far, we’ve built three ramps using this protocol, and it has worked extremely well. We’ve found that when only two at a time are working together, it’s easy to distance. It takes a little longer for the entire process, but the finished product is the same. 

Our most recent project, completed April 10, is pictured above right, with two members of the recipient’s immediate family. The happy recipient is just inside the door, but is no longer house bound, and can get in and out for doctor’s visits and other emergency situations.

*For more information about OR to make financial contributions to this ministry, email rjburkhead@att.net

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