More volunteers and money needed for wheelchair ramps | News

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More volunteers and money needed for wheelchair ramps

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- Trapped inside their homes. People all over the First Coast are stuck. 

All they need is a wheelchair ramp.

Earlier this month, First Coast News told you about the need for the ramps, the funding to build them, and the volunteers to construction them.

Read first story: Volunteers construct wheelchair ramps for people trapped at home

One man who decided to take action is Michael McCann.

Before he goes to work, he watches First Coast News.

"I heard people needing help," McCann recalled.

He saw the story about volunteers building a wheelchair ramp for Jack Halcomb.

Halcomb lives in St. Johns County. He is a veteran who has injuries which affect his legs. He walks with a cane and wears leg braces and that makes getting down his dilapidated steps very difficult.

"He came out of the trailer with braces on," McCann remembered from the story. "And with step that high, oh poor guy. I felt rough for him. We got to do something about this."

So McCann registered online with the St. Johns Housing Partnership online to help build another ramp for someone else.

"We got emails from a half dozen people after the story ran," Bill Lazar said. He is the Executive Director of the St. Johns Housing Partnership. It's the group which organizes the ramp projects.

Lazar said he welcomes the volunteers, but there is also a desperate need for donations.

"A lot of our programs are funded by state or local government programs," Lazar explained, "and with revenue dropping and they are making harder choices, we've had our funds cut over the years."

He said there are waiting lists of people who need wheelchair ramps across the First Coast. People on the lists simply cannot physically build or afford to build the ramps themselves.

As for McCann, he wants to volunteer because he said he "decided to put feet on my prayers."

As a Christian, he said he can't ignore the call to help.

"It's one thing to pray to Him [God] and ask, and it's another thing to put these prayers into action to help other people," McCann said with a nod.

It costs about $1,500 build a wheelchair ramp. If you want to volunteer, or donate money or even donate construction materials, contact the St. Johns Housing Partnership.


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