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Be Remarkable: Jerry Gritter is helping others through The Texas Ramp Project

The Texas Ramp Project builds wheelchair ramps for disabled or elderly people who can’t afford to buy one.
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 5:35 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Imagine being stuck inside your house with no access to the rest of the world because you’re confined to a wheelchair.

For so many people that’s a reality and it’s why The Texas Ramp Project for years has built more than 20,000 wheelchair ramps for people all across the state. Ramps are built exclusively with volunteer labor, keeping costs to a minimum.

This week we’re honoring one of the group’s long-time volunteers the Be Remarkable award.

Jerry Gritter has been a member of The Texas Ramp Project for about a dozen years and for 10 of those years he has served as the local director. The Texas Ramp Project is a statewide organization that builds wheelchair ramps for disabled or elderly people who can’t afford to buy one.

Under Jerry’s leadership for the past decade or so, hundreds of wheelchair ramps have been put together for residents of the Brazos Valley. Those projects were also made possible by volunteers, church groups, and student organizations.

“A lot of the people we build for, some of them haven’t been out of the house for a year because they have no way to get out of the house. Building these ramps helps them out. they’re able to get outside and get some fresh air,” said volunteer Ed Ihns. “Jerry takes his time goes out to every homeowner and remember we build about 80 to 90 ramps a year, so he goes to every home, measures it, and talks to the owner to make sure we put the ramp where they want it.”

“We think it’s a really good service, a real good program. Hopefully, we can keep it going,” said Jerry, who stresses that finding volunteers isn’t their biggest hurdle. It’s the financing of the projects, especially in the last year and a half with covid and a rise in lumber prices.

To help, KBTX and Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers are awarding Jerry $500 for the Be Remarkable Award.

“As part of being nominated on the Be Remarkable program, we donate 500 dollars that to your cause and we appreciate the work you’re doing for people. You’re giving them access in and out of their home and that is huge,” said Danny Daniel of Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers.

Jerry was nominated by several people including Rod Peltier, who wrote: “Jerry works with volunteers for Texas A&M, high schools, church groups, men’s groups, and other volunteers who provide the manpower to build. Helping him build these last three years and seeing the happiness on the client’s faces who can now safely leave their home, is why I feel Jerry is deserving of the award.”

What’s most unique about the Texas Ramp Project is its use of all-volunteer labor. That means that TRP can hold the cost of a ramp to about a third that of a retail contractor. For an average of $700 to $800 in materials and a few hours of donated labor on a Saturday morning, the life of a homebound person can be completely transformed.

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