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February 2017

Making a positive, life-altering impact - for 24 years

Master Builders Association Rampathon participantsMore than 400 residents' lives have been enhanced since 1993, thanks to volunteers from the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties. By participating in the organization's Rampathon®, builders, specialty contractors, suppliers and other volunteers devote a day of service and materials to help people become more mobile and independent.

Applications for the 24th annual event scheduled for May 20 are due by March 1. The one-page form is available online on the MBA's website.

Last year's crews built 37 wheelchair ramps (a new record) to assist an array or individuals. Recipients ranged from a 6-year-old wheelchair-bound boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury at the hands of an abusive babysitter, to a WWII Army veteran with hemiparesis, a weakness of one side of his body, the result of a service-related gunshot wound and frostbite.

Another beneficiary of a custom ramp was Nickelsville Tiny House Village in Seattle's Central District, thanks in part to assistance from Sawhorse Revolution and Seattle-area high school students. The ramp provides access to bathroom and shower facilities for disabled individuals at the encampment for people experiencing homelessness.

Event coordinators note ramps provide relief not only to individuals with limited mobility, but also to caregivers. Along with peace of mind, the addition of a ramp offers a better means of escape in case of a fire or other home emergency, and easier access for emergency aid crews. 

The gift of a ramp can be life-changing - and not just for the user, according to the Master Builders. Volunteering one day to make a truly positive change in another's life has been described as "an incredible experience."  Project captains and other volunteers have maintained contact with some recipients, forging lifelong friendships, according to MBA staff. It's all in keeping with the group's mission to "make certain that everyone has a happy, healthy, and productive place to call home."