EmmanuWheel sits in Lexington, South Carolina and is the only organization in the state that strives to build one wheelchair ramp every week in the tri-county area of Lexington, Richland, and Saluda. In service to its mission and woven within its foundational Christian faith in practice, EmmanuWheel relies on volunteers and a small staff to fund, build, and provide wheelchair ramps for those who cannot afford them, with the intention of making a lasting improvement in their lives. Clients include those who are mobility impaired due to accidents, illness, or other degenerative diseases and are referred to EmmanuWheel through social services, hospitals, primary care offices, rehab facilities, churches, and other community organizations. 

Sometimes we do not realize how much we take for granted by simply having the ability to walk down the steps, get into our cars, and drive to the hospital or the doctor’s office to receive medical care. For many living in poverty, this is a major barrier to accessing health care, and for the mobility impaired living in poverty, it is especially difficult for them and for those trying to help them.  

The Managing Director, Chris Sharpe, is directly involved with the ramp building teams and provides training and oversight directly on the sites. In addition, he works to forge relationships with other organizations to partner in building ramps and engages in mentoring volunteers with local schools and businesses.  

Last year, CCME Foundation Executive Director Dori DeJong visited several wheelchair ramp sites in Lexington and met with Mr. Sharpe, Donna Groomes, Fundraising Director; and several volunteers in the early stages of building a ramp. In 2021, 2022, and 2023, the CCME Foundation provided nominal grants to assist in funding EmmanuWheel’s efforts to purchase lumber for several ramps, contributing to their larger goals. Construction costs have risen dramatically over the past few years. Because of the tremendously impactful work that this true grassroots organization is doing, the CCME Foundation has awarded funds in all three grantmaking years to assist EmmanuWheel in building more ramps in service to those who need them.   

To learn more about this small but mighty organization serving rural South Carolina, visit www.emmanuwheel.org