TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Will Center in Terre Haute relies on donations for materials for their ‘Ramps for Freedom’ project.
The Will Center is a nonprofit community-based organization in Terre Haute.
The mission of the center is to empower people with disabilities and to ensure that they have full and complete access to community resources, and to promote their independence.
“Independent living centers across the state and across the country was born out of a grassroots movement,” Randy Berg said. “They are run by people with disabilities for people with disabilities.
One of the projects at The Will Center is the ‘Ramps for Freedom‘ program. The program builds and installs ramps or low-rise steps for those in need, who qualify, for free. To be eligible to receive a ramp, there is an application process.
Ramp coordinator, Jeremy Laney, said that ramp building season kicked off on the first of March.
“Our ramps are built to ADA standard. Which is an important part of what we do. We can offer something that is within a guideline that keeps the individual safe,” Laney said.
The Will Center partners with the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle. There the ramps are prefabricated in sections, specific to each home. The ramps are then completed and installed on-site by Laney and volunteers. They rely on donations for materials.
“The cost of lumber is high right now and it puts restrictions on our program,” Laney said. “We look a lot to donations. Private, corporate, any type of donation is going to help our program move forward, continue to be successful and provide individuals with their freedom,” he added.
Laney recalls a ramp project that touched his heart. A family with two young boys was in need of a ramp so mom and dad no longer had to carry their chairs up and down the porch steps. Laney said the boys were outside during the build and a part of the project.
“To be there when those boys took that first trip down the ramp, and they’re not struggling to their day-to-day,” Laney said.
That moment was humbling for Laney. He enjoys doing a job where he can help others in need.
Jeremy Price, Independent Living Coordinator at The Will Center said that by providing a ramp to an individual the center is giving people their freedom.
“We are able to give them that freedom of choice of where they want to go, how they want to participate, and be an active participant within the community of their choosing,” Price said.
In addition to the ‘Ramps for Freedom,’ The Will Center offers support, advocacy, information, and referrals as well as skills training, peer counseling, and more.
The Will Center relies on donations for materials for the ‘Ramps for Freedom’ project. They have a donor page located on the center’s website where you can make a one-time donation or a recurring donation. The Will Center is always seeking volunteers.