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We need something pretty small for the badge. Very small actually. Something under 100x20 if possible (width x height).

I added a group that anyone who is interested in being apart of this group can join. It's a work in progress but it's a start.
You can join it here: http://www.contractortalk.com/profile.php?do=editusergroups

When you join the group you will get a badge added under your name that links to this thread. I'll work on the graphic as we get more ideas.
Just a quick note about this. The site updates once an hour so it might take a little while for your badge to start showing... but it will given enough time.
 

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My preference would be not to handle ramp requests directly yet. Finding folks to build for should not be a difficult thing.

Once this thing takes off, we can appoint a national committee to vet incoming applications. Until then, I'd like to let local organizations call the shots on the incoming applications. I looked today and St. Vincent de Paul is nationwide. I'll talk w/ my contact at the local St. Vinnie's on Monday about good ways to handle this on a nationwide basis.
And don't forget the idea of contacting your local veteran's center.

Besides, getting to know organizations local to you will only benefit you in the long run. People in your area will get to know your company, what you stand for, what your character is like. You'll have more local flavor for media coverage and quite possibly, more contacts w/ your local media. If we set up a request form online, it makes the process a lot more impersonal and at this stage of the game, impractical.

Regarding rbs' points, no one who's participating in this will build a crappy ramp. Period. It can't become a "let's throw sh*t together 'cause we're doin' it for free" kinda thing. Everyone has to approach this project with the same intensity and pride that they approach their high-end projects. That, and everyone building a ramp will be posting pics of their ramps here for all to see! That alone will hold folks to a high standard! They build a crappy ramp, everyone here will tear them apart!!
Basic fact: a wheelchair ramp is not a difficult build. Once folks get their assignments, if anyone has any questions about the details of their particular project, post it here, PM me, talk to someone, and we'll get you lined up so your project goes smoothly.

Mac
 

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Handle It!
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Once a "Per Request" situation is Instituted, organization and Heirarchy become prevalent. At this stage of RAT, Politics is not a hurdle that need be traversed.

In time, structure and protocol need be established and enforced. Until then, chips fall and it is there that they are played.
 

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I agree with MAC. To me this is a way to encourage contractors to get out into their communities and help out. The point (at least I think) of this should be to gather resource, encourage, and maybe show off a little which in turn encourages more people to get involved. Making this an organization is unneeded and may even cause more problems then it solves. That's my take anyways.
 

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I want to do one of these in my area. Looks like my early spring may not be too busy.
It occurred to me (and possibly already mentioned in this thread) that right now there must be a plethora of returning wounded combat vets that are going to need wheelchair ramps.
I'll be at the Wadsworth VA hospital later in the week picking up my prescriptions and I'm going to see if there is a way I can be put in touch with a family that could use a ramp for their wounded family member.
I'll up-date on progress. Any ideas other than the VA how we could find vets that could use a ramp?
 

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Semper Fi
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Google "Wounded Warrior Project" for info on vets. I stopped by the local office today to try and find out some info to get connected with a disabled vet. I am pumped!!:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Google "Wounded Warrior Project" for info on vets. I stopped by the local office today to try and find out some info to get connected with a disabled vet. I am pumped!!:thumbup:
Do you want to be added to the list?
 

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Got a couple of PM's w/ questions that I thought would best be answered here.

Do I have to go through a charitable organization for my lumberyard to be able to write off their materials donation?
No. Your lumberyard can note the location of the materials delivery and the name of your company on their invoice and just specify on their invoice that it is a donation. Their accountant/bookkeeper will add that invoice to the proper column and they can write it off on their own books. I found out last year doing a pro bono project that while materials can be written off as a donation, labor can't.

Can I try and get a bunch of guys in my area to build ramps?
Short answer - direct them to this thread and we'll set them up here as a R-A-T builder. The reason I want to play this kinda close to the chest for starters is I don't want any part of this project to fall flat on it's face. By having folks sign up through this thread, we can make sure everyone is on the same page and all the projects are built to the same standards...and all the projects actually get built. Having people accountable on this thread makes sure good intentions turn in to positive actions.

Can I put out an application form and decide who gets a ramp myself?
If you have the time and inclination to sort through all the applications you receive, and write reject letters to everyone you can't build a ramp for, sure. I will put up a generic ramp application on the website for anyone to download.
My preference would be to have a local charitable organization who is already familiar w/ potential recipients to come up w/ a short list for you...possibly even make the choice of who gets a ramp for you. This is sensitive information that we seek, we're looking for people who are financially hurting and in physical need of a ramp. Lists of names of people who fit those two categories shouldn't be given out needlessly. I myself wouldn't want to be responsible for figuring out if the applications sent to me were real and truthful. How do we, as contractors, know if someone really needs our help? I'd rather let an organization set up to deal w/ the poor and/or disabled do that legwork.

I met w/ my contact at St. Vincent de Paul today. She said that while St. Vinnie's is a nationwide organization, some chapters are better suited for this type of request than others. Some just put together food and clothes baskets for folks. She made a couple of suggestions that I thought were great -
1. Contact your local Senior and Disabled Services office. They would already have lists of people who need a ramp.
2. Contact your local school system and speak w/ someone in Special Needs (Special Ed). They would also have some insight into kids who might need a ramp.

There's a little bit of legwork you'll need to do on your end but think of it this way - the more people you speak with about this project, the more people come to know your company in a positive light. Freely hand out business cards but don't make it a sales call. When another (paying) project comes up, maybe they remember you first.

Thanks again, guys, for making this commitment.

Bodger, Malco, good to have you guys on board!

Mac

ETA: answer regarding vets was posted while I was writing this one up!
 

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Google "Wounded Warrior Project" for info on vets. I stopped by the local office today to try and find out some info to get connected with a disabled vet. I am pumped!!:thumbup:
I'll check it out. Might be a faster track than the VA itself.
Thanks
 

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Google "Wounded Warrior Project" for info on vets. I stopped by the local office today to try and find out some info to get connected with a disabled vet. I am pumped!!:thumbup:
Okay, I sent an e-mail to Wounded Warrior via their general infomation e-mail contact. I'll see what their response is and if the can steer me to a likely candidate.
Meanwhile, VA is next, maybe they can provide me with a few prospects.
 

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I think this is a great idea. Is anyone issueing press releases to local media after they built the ramp?
I'm going to work up some basic press releases and put them on the website for folks to download. The goodwill angle is great - getting the word out to your community about the project and your company is also good! The two I built in September didn't get much press but it was a new thing. I don't think we hit the media as hard as we needed to to get a response.
This ramp I just built, I'm meeting w/ a tv crew either today or tomorrow (or possibly both). One of the stations is really interested in the nationwide aspect of R-A-T and wants to interview me about it.

Once the interview is done, I'll try to get a copy uploaded via YouTube or similar...

Happy New Year, guys!

Mac
 

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Count me in. This is good way to start off the new year. I like vets of the armed services. I was going to build one for mother-in-law. She was a stroke victim. I had already secured the materials but family did not want it. I like the idea of an expanded landing where you could just sit and enjoy the outdoors. I am in central Oklahoma, can build by self or buddy up with someone. It would be fun.
 
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