UPS Partners with Ramp it Up to build wheelchair ramp in Fort Yates

Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 6:12 PM CDT
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FORT YATES, N.D. (KFYR) - UPS is using its network to connect veterans and first responders who need wheelchair ramps with an organization that can do just that.

Veteran Carl Ironeyes served in the military for 22 years. He says he’s had a few falls recently, and with a wheelchair on the way, he’ll need a way to get in and out of his house safely. That’s when his local Tribal VA office connected him to the coordinators for Operation Ramp it Up.

“It’s such a relief, it’s a relief. I couldn’t have done this myself, for sure,” Ironeyes said.

A team of UPS and Ramp it Up volunteers met up to replace the deck in Ironeyes’ backyard with an aluminum ramp. This is the first ramp that UPS and Ramp it Up have built together in North Dakota.

“People see us for delivering and picking up packages, but to truly come out and build a ramp for a place where we’d be delivering a package, we’re now delivering a ramp,” Ryan Zenoni, UPS Fargo package division manager, said.

Ramp it Up first started in 2014 when Greg Schneider, the CEO of Ramp it Up with 40 years of UPS driving experience, partnered with the UPS Foundation and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation to help meet the needs of veterans and first responders across the country. They’ve built more than 240 ramps so far across 49 states.

“Having the affiliation with UPS has certainly been a blessing. Obviously, UPS being an organization — a global organization — they are able to kind of put the pieces together to make it happen, to get the volunteers regardless of where we’re at,” Mike Burke, a Ramp it Up volunteer, said.

The volunteers plan on building their next ramp in Spearfish, South Dakota, Wednesday, making it their 50th state. Ramp it Up encourages anyone who knows a veteran in need of a wheelchair ramp to submit an application through their website.