Monday, 26 November 2012 15:03

ARISE honors Ramp Program volunteers

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ARISE staff thanks volunteers from Operation Northern Comfort. From left, are Kris Rabideau, ARISE housing advocate; Tom McKeown, executive director of ARISE; Jim Switzer; Pat Vanderwerken; Bob Vanderwerken; Sandy Bonanno; Dick Bonanno; and Sabine Ingerson, director of the Oswego Offices of ARISE. ARISE staff thanks volunteers from Operation Northern Comfort. From left, are Kris Rabideau, ARISE housing advocate; Tom McKeown, executive director of ARISE; Jim Switzer; Pat Vanderwerken; Bob Vanderwerken; Sandy Bonanno; Dick Bonanno; and Sabine Ingerson, director of the Oswego Offices of ARISE.

     ARISE of OSwego County held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner Nov. 8 to honor the amazing and generous people who make it possible for their friends and neighbors to freely come and go from their homes.

     The event brought together people who spent their Thursday evenings building sections of ramps and people who met Saturday mornings to construct the ramps on the house.
     "There is a special moment the first time someone uses a ramp to enter his or her home independently. Sometimes, the moment is full of laughter," Sabine Ingerson, director, said. "Sometimes, there are tears of joy. Always, there is an outpouring of thanks."
     Over the past nine months, volunteers gave their time to complete 30 projects that changed the lives of Oswego County residents.
     The ramps constructed included three ramps for children, who were finally able to go from the house to the yard without the danger of falling or someone dropping them. There were also very dedicated volunteers who built a ramp in the pouring rain.
     "ARISE is grateful to the people who step up and take part in this great project, including First United Methodist Church of Fulton, First United Methodist Church of Oswego, Operation Northern Comfort and many people who volunteered on an individual basis for one ramp or many," Ingerson said.
     There are still many people living in Oswego County who are in need of a ramp. The proper placement, construction and use of a ramp re-energizes a person who was otherwise trapped in his or her home and allows the freedom to join in our community. ARISE welcomes donations of funds, materials, or time to continue this project into the future.
     This year grants from Entergy, National Grid, Raby's and community donations helped to purchase materials. Next year, ARISE aims to construct another 30 ramps, and bring more families back into our community. For more information on how to help, contact Jim Karasek, Manager of Independent Living Services, at 342-4088 x206 or [email protected]
About ARISE
     ARISE is a non-profit Independent Living Center run by and for people with disabilities. The organization has been providing advocacy and services since 1979, and each year ARISE works with approximately 4,000 people of all ages who have all types of disabilities. ARISE has offices in Onondaga, Oswego, and Madison Counties and operates ARISE at the Farm, a 77-acre recreational facility in Chittenango, NY, and ARISE & Ski at Toggenburg Winter Sports Center in Fabius, NY.

 

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