Nonprofit Feature: On Ramp

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Imagine what your day-to-day would look like if you did not have a car. It would be difficult to get to work on time, to pick up your children from school if they get sick, to get to the grocery store or to make doctor appointments. Imagine how much time you might spend waiting for a bus or walking to your desired destination – even when it’s raining, even when it’s baking hot. So many opportunities would be limited, simply because they’re not near a bus line, or are too far to walk to.

Like most of America, Bryan-College Station was built on the assumption that everyone would have a personal vehicle at their disposal to get around. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are to make it from point A to point B with just a turn of the ignition. On Ramp is here to remind us that many families in our community aren’t in the same position.

Founded by BCS local Blake Jennings, teaching pastor at Grace Bible Church’s Southwood Campus, On Ramp is a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide reliable transportation to people in need to get them on the road to self-sufficiency. It is one of just two organizations in the whole state of Texas working in this space. Since its launch in January 2017, On Ramp has given away seventeen cars and repaired fourteen more. All but two of the cars have been given to single mothers. In the last week alone, the organization was able to gift two cars!

Each car not only unlocks a wave of opportunities for the driver, but creates a ripple effect for their children, their extended family and their personal networks as well. “A car can affect generations to come,” Jennings said, as he explained all of the benefits that On Ramp recipients are able to take advantage of with their new and revamped vehicles. After receiving a vehicle, the new owners are able to attend more community events, better support their children’s after-school activities, and invest more energy toward healthcare. The effects are immediate, and can be wildly life-changing: one recipient is now added to a kidney transplant list after six years of dialysis because a prerequisite for consideration was reliable transport.

On Ramp works with local organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and Methodist Children’s Home in Bryan, who recommend individuals for consideration. By maintaining a pipeline of women and families who would greatly benefit from vehicle self-sufficiency, when funds or a car comes through to give, Jennings is able to move quickly.

On Ramp is always looking for individuals or businesses that are interested in supporting their mission financially, as well as cars that could be gifted to a well-deserving family. They hope to continue to grow their capacity to serve needs within the Brazos Valley, and aim to one day expand their model to other cities across the state.

For more information, please visit https://bit.ly/2EBcWrN.

Every month, Maroon Weekly will shine a spotlight on a nonprofit organization working in our community. If you’ve got one you’d love to see featured, let us know at marisalbgrimes@gmail.com

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