The Desert Southwest Conference United Methodist Men, affiliated with SAWs (Servants at Work, Indianapolis), has formed SAWs-Southwest to serve the needs for ramps throughout our conference and beyond. Taking on this tremendous challenge requires many subjects and activities to achieve success – dedicated people, facilities, funding, and support to name a few.
SAWs was formed in 2003 by Rik Hagarty, Deacon and Elder of Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. The volunteers had the desire to help those persons who were restricted in their homes because of barriers such as steps, unstable pathways, or even something as small as a threshold, that prevented them from safely exiting their residence. In other words, these disabled people were held prisoner in their own homes. The solution was to create an organization (SAWs – Servants At Work) that would be charged with the responsibility of building ramps to open the “prison doors.”
Tucson has the most potential within the South District of needing ramps. Therefore, plans have been focused on establishing a prefabrication shop within the Tucson area. This shop will prefab parts or modules of the ramps that will be transported to the building site and assembled by bolting the pieces together. Using this prefab arrangement enables the volunteers to complete building a ramp in just a few hours.
The key here is having a prefab shop to store lumber, cut and assemble the wood pieces into modular sections. This is where you can be part of the Ramp Ministry effort by suggesting a possible building or a portion of a building that could be used as a prefab shop. Your suggested location could be on a United Methodist Church campus, or a private/commercial building anywhere in Tucson. The size of the facility ideally should be 800 square feet or larger with electricity available. We may have to provide some modifications such as lighting, power receptacles, etc., to make the facility productive.
If you know of a place that might be used as a prefab shop, please contact us:
• Dale O’Neill, South District President, DSC UMM, at (520) 366-5545,
• Dave James, Conference President, DSC UMM, at (480) 800-9950, email
Thank you and many blessings.