Lift Up for Consumer

By Stephanie Clark

Imagine how difficult leaving or entering a home can be for a person with a mobility disability. Everyday living becomes an ordeal and without appropriate modifications, the person with a disability faces enormous challenges.

evelyn with craig jonesIn 1991, the Southwest Center for Independent Living (SCIL) began Renovations and Modifications Projects (RAMPS) to assist individuals with disabilities with low incomes with improving the accessibility of their homes to remain independent. Twenty years later, our waiting list continues to grow. Approximately 200 individuals in our service area need a ramp, wheel chair lift, grab bar, door widening or other modification to continue to live in their own homes safely.

Recently, SCIL partnered with Country Home Elevator & Stair Lift to install a wheelchair lift valued at nearly $10,000 on the home of a Branson area consumer, Evelyn. Thanks to the generous supporters and business of the Lift Up Benefit Concert held at the Jim Stafford Theatre in Branson last fall combined with Country Home’s in-kind donation of the lift, Evelyn can now access the outside world without the fear of falling down her steps.

“Being in the disability field, it’s part of what we do to give someone like Evelyn the opportunity to get in and out of her house safely and make it to the grocery store and doctor appointments,” said Craig Jones, owner of Country Home. “We really made a difference in her life.”

Evelyn has faced hardships throughout her life with multiple disabilities including Lymphedema, a condition which causes tumors in her legs along with constant swelling and pain. Her disability causes her to use a wheelchair and she has many medical visits for therapy. Each step Evelyn takes is very painful one, yet she made the best of her situation.

Today, with the lift now installed, Evelyn radiates with joy. Finally she has a less painful way to be mobile.

evelynWhen asked what the lift meant, Evelyn was speechless. For many years, Evelyn hadn’t ventured out of the home for much more than her doctor appointments or for emergencies.

Evelyn now has the opportunity to interact with her community, go shopping and sight-seeing,  communicate with her family and be outdoors in her beautiful backyard. “Without SCIL’s help, I’d be stuck,” said Evelyn.

Like Evelyn, SCIL works with many individuals in need of help with home modifications. Our organization collaborates with many groups, businesses and volunteers to make a difference in the community and hope that you will consider being part of our efforts.

If you or someone you know would like to contribute to the RAMPS fund or volunteer to help build a ramp, please contact the Southwest Center for Independent Living at 417.886.1188 or email scil@swcil.org.  Your donation will help those with disabilities stay independent and moving!