For more than three years now, the Pecan Valley Kiwanis Club has partnered with the Texas Ramp Project to build ramps for Brown County residents in need.
The club constructed its latest ramp on Saturday, July 8. Club member and local realtor Don Holland said club president Deborah Price found out about the Texas Ramp Project at a Kiwanis convention.
“We decided then that’s something we would like to do, is partner up with the Texas Ramp Project,” Holland said. “All of the screening and applications that people do goes through the Project, and they forward the names to us if they’re in Brown County.”
Because of privacy concerns, Holland can’t give the names or addresses of local Ramp Project clients. But he said the Kiwanis Club built eight or nine ramps in Brown County in 2016 alone. “We pre-assemble the ramps based on the design, and then we go out and put the components together on a Saturday, usually,” Holland said. “By and large, we’ve been received wholeheartedly favorably from the people we’ve served, and everything has turned out really good on it.”
According to its website, the Texas Ramp Project builds “wheelchair ramps for disabled or elderly people who can’t afford to buy one.”
“We give these folks the freedom to leave their home again,” the site says. “The home where they want to remain but whose steps have imprisoned them.”
The Pecan Valley Kiwanis Club, Holland said, centers most of its philanthropy on Brown County’s youth through things like scholarships. But he said it’s important to remember the elderly as well.
“I joke and say sometimes that Kiwanis is primarily interested in the kids,” Holland said. “But let’s face it—sometimes older people need help too.” And sometimes, he said, the wheelchair-bound individual happens to be a child.
Holland said the club is heavily involved in fundraising. “And all the money raised through our fundraisers stays in Brown County,” he said.
He said the willingness to volunteer and serve is the true mark of a “Kiwanian.”
“It all has to do with how you feel in your heart about service and giving back to the community. Our club is blessed with a bunch of Kiwanians.”
The Pecan Valley Kiwanis Club meets every Thursday morning at 6:30 a.m. at Gomez’s in Brownwood. For more information on the Ramp Project or to apply for a ramp, visit www.texasramps.org.