SAWs Partners with BraunAbility to Build 50 Free Ramps
Servants at Work, Inc. (SAWs), Indiana-based nonprofit dedicated to building wheelchair accessible ramps for people with long-term disabilities, partnered with BraunAbility, a global leader in wheelchair accessible vehicles and lifts. Together they achieved an ambitious goal: to build 50 wheelchair-accessible ramps this summer.
The two organizations have similar missions dedicated to enhancing independence for individuals with mobility challenges.
“SAWs was honored to partner with BraunAbility in celebrating their 50th anniversary. Sharing our mission with their employees and customers has brought awareness to who we are and what we specialize in, providing mobility freedom for those in need,” stated D. Michael Thompson, SAWs Executive Director.
The majority of the 50 ramps have been built in the Indiana communities where BraunAbility employees live and work, but thanks to SAWs’ operations team, affiliates, and BraunAbility’s retail network, the partnership was also able to successfully build ramps for clients in Illinois, Arizona, Michigan, and Seattle, Washington.
This challenge was the first of its kind for SAWs. Operations Manager Tim Thurston and founder Rik Hagerty put in long hours to plan, execute and manage the logistics of scheduling manpower and materials. Each ramp requires careful preparation, to include site surveying, technical sketches, and pre-cutting of wood planks before it can be installed on site.
“One of the most incredible things about this challenge is witnessing the awesome BraunAbility people and their affiliates stepping up and out of their comfort zone to learn how to build these ramps. We had teams in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Kansas City, Seattle, Phoenix, and St. Louis” stated Tim Thurston. “These 50 clients are so appreciative to regain their freedom.”
In March and April, SAWs held a successful fundraising campaign where donors were able to have their gifts matched by a $50,000 grant from BraunAbility. SAWs supporters from across the country gave generously, which resulted in the funding of all 50 ramps. The average SAWs ramp costs over $1,500, and of the 50 ramps built, ranged in raw material cost from $700 to $5,200.
Michelle from Marion County received this new ramp in July, built by SAWs and BraunAbility volunteers.
The 50 ramps built in July and August by SAWs and BraunAbility volunteers are completely free to the recipient. Each ramp is constructed of wood and adheres strictly to ADA standards. To qualify for the ramp build, recipients must have a long-term disability and have a household income below the Area Mean Income for the state of residence.
To apply for a ramp, get involved or donate, go to sawsramps.org.
Founded in 2003, SAWs® (Servants at Work, Inc.) is a faith-based, volunteer-powered nonprofit organization serving clients throughout Indiana, as well as Arizona and Virginia. SAWs specializes in building wooden wheelchair ramps and for individuals living with permanent or long-term disabilities in low-income households.
In less than six hours, a custom-built SAWs ramp can transform a person’s life. After a SAWs ramp is built at their home, 90% of clients describe accessing their home as “easy” and 67% of clients can access their home independently. SAWs ramps are gateways, re-opening the possibilities of connecting with neighbors and the community, and helping clients choose to remain living in their own homes. In 2021, SAWs celebrated serving their 3000th client, and are excited about growing to serve more clients every year. For more information or to donate online, please visit us at www.sawsramps.org
BraunAbility is the world’s leading manufacturer of mobility transportation solutions, including wheelchair accessible vehicles, wheelchair lifts and seating, storage and securement products. Founded nearly 50 years ago by Ralph Braun, an entrepreneur who spent most of his life in a wheelchair, the company has grown into the most well-known and trusted name in the mobility industry, bringing independence to millions of individuals across the world. BraunAbility is a wholly owned subsidiary to Patricia Industries, a division of Investor AB Group. Visit www.braunability.com for more information.