By Jennifer Taylor
Before developing a new outreach ministry, DaySpring Christian Church (Fort Collins, Colorado) wisely asked community members about their biggest needs. Although the area is noted for an especially high incidence of multiple sclerosis, many people using wheelchairs said they did not have ramps to their front doors. Jim Stroh and other DaySpring volunteers have spent years changing that, one ramp at a time.
The team created a consortium with Volunteers of America and local resource agencies for the disabled. Using a combination of his own skills, online information, and official specifications from the Americans with Disabilities Act, Stroh developed detailed plans for the large ramps and recruited 25 men and 12 teens to work in rotating teams. The recipient purchases the wood (with the ministry often providing guidance on buying wholesale), and the volunteers provide labor and hardware.
Stroh’s new job as the church’s facilities manager leaves him little time to continue leading the work, but three retired carpenters have taken up the mission and already built dozens of new ramps.
“No one was filling this need,” he says. “It was a way to contribute to the community and demonstrate the love of Christ.”
Interested in trying this at your church? For a copy of Jim’s design manual, e-mail him at J_Stroh@comcast.net.
Jennifer Taylor, one of Christian Standard’s contributing editors, lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Read her blog at www.christianstandard.com.