Meridian District VIM Ramp Team Continues to Change Lives after 14 Years


 By Renelda Owen

In May, 1999, the Meridian District began a Volunteers in Mission project to build handicapped ramps at the homes of people in need of them within the bounds of the district. This ministry, which began on a small scale, has continued

Ramp for Snowden
Volunteers build ramp for Mary Snowden in Chunky.
for 14 years and is going strong. On May 21, 2013, Meridian District ramp builders completed the 860th Ramp Project since May 1999 by building a 30-foot handicap ramp for Willie Clark of Meridian. This was the 41st project completed by this group in 2013.


Ramp recipients are brought to the attention of the volunteers through their churches, hospitals, social workers and rehabilitation centers. There is always a waiting list. A 
Ramp for Hodge
Ramp for Mary Hodge, Hwy 80 Meridian September 2012.
faithful group of regulars meet in the workshop of Jerry Fox who lives in rural Kemper County, usually each Monday morning. There they do a pre-build, by constructing parts of the ramp before going to the site. Later in the week, a work team then goes to the site and completes the ramp. Prior to this, the site has been thoroughly scouted and measured, materials purchased and dates set for the completion of the project. All ramps
 are built to the recommended specifications related to the drop from the door to the ground. When a ramp is no longer needed by the recipient, the team is often able to go back to the site and recycle the ramp for use at another location. Through the years, this has become an ecumenical group with members of many different churches from varied denominations helping to keep the ministry vital and growing. In 2012, donations helped purchase a work truck dedicated to this ministry. Prior to that, a volunteer had worn out his own vehicle with years of transporting materials and tools to the worksites.


There are currently 25 on the waiting list for ramps to be built and four ramps previously built that are no longer

Ramp for Leggett
Obie Leggett and VIM ramp work team September 2012 Meridian.
needed and need to be recycled for use somewhere else. Recycling saves from 80-85% of the cost of a new ramp. A major issue facing the ramp ministry right now is the escalating cost of materials which has risen more than 28% in the last few months. The ministry exists through faithful volunteers and through monetary donations. You may give to the ministry through the Meridian District office, 6210 Hwy. 39N, Meridian, MS 39305-9133. Volunteers are always welcome. With hot weather, they need extra workers to get the job done. Anyone in the area, who is interested in learning more about the ministry, or volunteering, can contact Jerry W. Fox at 601-737-5325 (home) or 601-917-2284 (cell).