Paris organizations ramp up to help disabled woman
PARIS, Texas (KXII) -- On Monday we told you about a disabled Paris woman who had her portable wheelchair ramp stolen from outside her duplex.
That story caught the attention of thousands.
And Wednesday morning, with the help of two local organizations, she was given a huge surprise as our cameras were rolling.
"Hi, I'm Lynn Patterson with the Paris Kiwanis Club, this is Shelly Braziel with the Lamar County Human Resource Council. We hate that someone decided they needed your ramp worse than you did, but we would like to replace it for you if we could," Patterson said.
"Oh yes, thank you," Marilyn Buckholtz exclaimed.
Buckholtz said when the door opened she wasn't sure what was happening.
"I think she's in shock!"
"Yeah, are you surprised?"
Sharon Rick is her landlord and says when she heard the ramp was stolen, it made her sick. She gave the go-ahead to build Marilyn a permanent ramp.
"She just moved in and she's handicapped, she's in a wheelchair and I was just appalled that someone had stole her ramp," Rick said. "It's a no-brainer, if it makes her life easier, it's how she can get out and about...it has to be done."
Non-profit groups like the Lamar County Human Resource Council are the referral agency in cases like this.
"We'll see a need and then we'll do that referral online and then it goes to the Texas Ramp Project. So we are kind of that referring agency or the middle man that gets that taken care of," Executive Director Shelly Braziel said.
The Kiwanis Club partners with the Texas Ramp Project to build ramps for elderly or disabled people at no charge to them. They purchase materials through donations from local foundations in Lamar County.
"They provide the money for the materials and the Kiwanis Club provides the volunteer labor, so it's a good project for us and one that we really enjoy doing," Patterson added.
The ramps are made of lumber, and Patterson says Marilyn will have hers in by this weekend.
Marlilyn says her new ramp is a blessing, giving her back the independence taken from her just days ago.
"It's not going be so easy for them to take this time. They won't be able to just walk up and take off with it. That'll be nice, really, really nice," Buckholtz said.