LACEY, Wash. - For nearly three decades the Lacey Sunrise Lions Club has been building and donating wheelchair ramps for the disabled. It’s an effort that started simply because they wanted to help a friend of one of their members, but then it grew into an effort that has helped people all over the area.
88-year-old Bob Kelley is the member who has spearheaded the effort. After the ramps are built they ask the recipients to consider a donation if they are able, but if they aren’t, that is fine too.
“We don’t do this as a fundraiser we do this as a service,” Kelley said. “If they care to make a donation toward the materials it’s appreciated and it keeps our program going.”
The club only budgets about a thousand dollars for the project each year, but they remain successful due to the donations and generous support from community partners.
Recently, Patricia Smith became the latest recipient. She told us what the ramp means to her.
“It will mean freedom to come and go from my house to live as close to a normal life as I can while I’m recuperating and needing a wheelchair,” Smith said. “The fact that they’ve been doing it for so many years means that they are a real asset to the community and have helped hundreds of people I’m sure, if not more.”
Kelley said the reaction he receives from recipients always makes it so worth it.
“We’re thanked with smiles, with tears, with hugs,” Kelley said. “Each one of us is impressed by the sincerity that the recipients extend to us.”
If you are interested in helping the club make more ramps for people in need, please make a donation to the Lacey Sunrise Lions Club.
Copyright 2016 KING