Building Ramps for Disabled Hoosiers: SAWs Featured on WISH TV’s Finding Faith

We are excited to share the news that SAWs (Servants at Work) was recently featured on WISH TV’s Finding Faith with Randy Ollis. This heartfelt segment sheds light on our mission of building ramps for disabled Hoosiers and showcases our organization’s incredible impact on the lives of individuals and families in need.

Link to the video segment:

The Importance of Accessible Ramps

For many disabled individuals, the absence of a ramp can be a significant barrier, limiting their independence and freedom. SAWs recognizes this need and steps up to provide solutions. Through the combined efforts of dedicated volunteers and generous donors, we construct ramps that empower individuals to move freely within their homes and communities.

Making a Difference Together

At SAWs, we firmly believe in the power of community and collaboration. We extend our gratitude to WISH TV and Finding Faith for shining a spotlight on our organization and helping us raise awareness about the vital work we do. We also want to express our appreciation to all the volunteers and donors who make our mission possible. Through their selflessness and support, we can transform lives, one ramp at a time.

building ramps SAWs Servants at Work nonprofit video

Join Us in Making an Impact

As you watch the TV spot, we encourage you to reflect on the importance of accessibility and inclusivity for all individuals. Consider joining our cause by volunteering your time, making a donation, or spreading the word about SAWs. Together, we can continue to build ramps, break down barriers, and empower disabled Hoosiers to lead independent and fulfilling lives.

SAWs’ appearance on WISH TV’s Finding Faith has provided a platform to showcase our organization’s commitment to serving disabled individuals in our community. We are grateful for the opportunity to share our message and inspire others to join us in making a positive impact. Let’s continue to build ramps, foster inclusivity, and create a more accessible world for all.

Building Bridges: Servants at Work’s Corporate Team Building Program

Through our program, corporate teams have the opportunity to come together, roll up their sleeves, and build ramps for individuals facing mobility challenges. This hands-on experience fosters teamwork and camaraderie as well as promotes corporate social responsibility and a sense of fulfillment among participants. Over the years, SAWs has partnered with several corporations to build ramps, making a tangible difference in the lives of those in need.

Forging Strong Connections: Enhancing Impact through Corporate Partnerships

At SAWs, we believe in the power of partnerships. By joining forces with corporations who share our vision of building a more inclusive society, we can maximize our impact and reach even more individuals in need of mobility solutions. Through our corporate team building program, we have successfully collaborated with notable organizations, such as:


OrthoIndy has been a long-standing partner of SAWs, demonstrating unwavering commitment to community service. Their dedicated teams have volunteered their time, talent, and treasures to construct ramps, providing freedom and accessibility to individuals facing mobility challenges.

Rehab Medical

Rehab Medical is another corporate citizen that has embraced our team-building program. With their enthusiastic participation, we have been able to transform the lives of numerous individuals by constructing ramps tailored to their specific needs. This team championed SAWs’ 3000th ramp build in August 2021.


Salesforce understands the value of creating an inclusive environment for all. Through their involvement in our team building program, they have not only strengthened their internal bonds but have also made a significant impact on the lives of those in their local community. Salesforce employees are encouraged to look for opportunities to serve within the community and these employees are wonderful corporate ambassadors with servants’ hearts.

Measurable Impact and Lasting Relationships:

The impact of our corporate team-building program extends far beyond the physical construction of ramps. Through these partnerships, participating corporations witness firsthand the transformation that takes place in the lives of individuals and families who gain independence and accessibility. The program fosters a sense of fulfillment and pride among employees, leading to increased morale, team cohesion, and a shared sense of purpose.

Moreover, these collaborations often lay the foundation for lasting relationships between SAWs and the corporate world. Many corporations continue to support our mission beyond their initial involvement in the team-building program, furthering our ability to serve individuals with mobility challenges.

Servants at Work’s corporate team-building program serves as a bridge between the corporate world and the community, fostering teamwork, corporate social responsibility, and transformative impact. Through partnerships with corporations like OrthoIndy, Rehab Medical, and Salesforce, we have built ramps that have changed lives and created a more inclusive society. As we continue to forge new collaborations, we invite more corporations to join us in our mission to build freedom and make a lasting difference in the lives of those in need. Together, we can build bridges and create a world where everyone has equal access and opportunities.

The Inspiring Story of SAWs: How This Nonprofit Became an Accessibility Leader in Indiana by Building Ramps

SAWs Ramp First ramp build in Indiana

Since 2003, SAWs has been building ramps for people with disabilities, making them one of the leading nonprofits in Indiana. Learn their inspiring story and how you can help make a difference.

By Casey Call

A Family on a Mission

Rik and Becky Hagarty embarked on their journey of local service in the early 2000s with great enthusiasm. Rik was heading a local outreach program responsible for painting and landscaping. Multiple volunteers were sent by this program to different downtown areas for these efforts. After completing his three-year tenure in this role, he began to explore other means to contribute to the community. David Berry, the Second Presbyterian Missions Minister, proposed contacting a church in Ft. Wayne, Indiana that was constructing handicap ramps as a solution. Rik visited Ft. Wayne in the spring of 2003 and returned home full of energy and enthusiasm for the things he had learned.

In a conversation with a Medicaid case worker, he became aware of the necessity of constructing ramps.  Along with the knowledge of the specifics of how ramps were being constructed, upon his return, he imparted that information to the other members of the church. After finding interest in funding a ramp, the Mission group began searching for a client. Rik states that this was the only time he had to seek out a recipient. Noble Centers of Indiana, an organization focused on wellness for people with disabilities, enabled the fledgling group to find a client. Second Presbyterian members showed their generosity by starting their first ramp the weekend before Thanksgiving in 2003. According to Rik, “We knew absolutely nothing about building a ramp. We just started cutting and assembling and it slowly came together.”

Rik, his brother-in-law, a friend, another church member, and his two daughters walked into a frosty backyard with a bundle of lumber.  At the end of the first day, even though there was still more to be done, the mother of their client was thanking them profusely for helping them avoid the removal of her child by FSSA for safety reasons. That turned out to be the motivation to come up with a plan to keep doing their work. It is quite remarkable that Becky and Rik just happened to start two amazing organizations through the Second Presbyterian Mission Teams at about the same time – thanks to the blessings and support the Mission Teams provided.

The Beginning of an Organization

In the spring of 2004, both Rik and the Mission Team at Second Presbyterian agreed that building handicap ramps for people with disabilities was a huge need in the community. They developed criteria for potential clients that were primarily focused on disability and income level. They then created a plan for the year that included how many they targeted to build, what the costs would be, where the volunteers would come from, and where they would find the funding. Fortunately, the Mission Team at Second Presbyterian provided most of the required elements. Second Presbyterian Church remains to this day the largest donor of all the church partners.

Rik had contacts at several agencies such as Noble Center as well as a few hospitals from his previous search, so finding clients for ramp builds that year was much easier. They ended up building four ramps that year, all of which were for very deserving people.

In 2005, word of the effort had started to spread. Rik was approached by St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, another large church on the north side of Indianapolis to form a partnership, and the name was changed to Servants At Work. St. Luke’s had a large volunteer pool, including very dedicated gentlemen like David Boyer and Jim Hamilton. Along with Al Erickson from Second, they are the longest-serving volunteers for SAWs. David manages SAWS client relations in Indianapolis.  Jim is a Project Manager and Warehouse Manager.  Al now manages the project management software that organizes the effort. David, Jim, and Al have all served on the Board of Directors and are great examples of long-time contributors who have been very influential in SAWs’ success.

Fundraising was a challenge in the early years even though Second Presbyterian was incredibly generous. St. Luke’s had a member on the board of directors at CICOA (Central Indiana Council on Aging), which resulted in the introduction of their organization. CICOA had both the potential clients and funding for ramps, becoming one of the early donor organizations. There were individual donors in the early going but no large donors or grants. This put Rik’s background in sales to the test of generating the funds needed. At this point, Rik was interested in turning a “hobby” into an organization. He also knew this could no longer be a one-man show. So, a Board of Directors was formed to help run the growing company.

Then requests started to come from other parts of the state and the Indianapolis volunteers were not very interested in driving long distances regularly. One day in 2008, there was a call from Greencastle, so Rik called the Greencastle Presbyterian Church, and the concept of an “affiliate” was born. John Anderson was the leader of this effort and is still very active to this day. Affiliates can be churches or civic organizations that accept responsibility to manage a certain area and provide all the resources for SAWs to be successful, while SAWs provides the infrastructure and knowledge to make it happen. SAWs Takes Hold

SAWs Takes Hold

The organization continued to evolve as a Mission Outreach program, with some milestones along the way. The first website was created by a volunteer in 2008. The concept of project managers as a specific role for each ramp took hold. The very important concept of having a pre-build facility to cut and efficiently assemble the frames spread to multiple locations. The ability to expand the program was successful. Since some Foundations and large Funds would donate to a faith base organization but not to a church, in 2011 Servants At Work. Inc. was formed and approved by the Federal Government for 501C3 nonprofit status.  Separate from Second Presbyterian Church proved to be significantly helpful in fundraising but Second continued to be a large financial supporter.

After SAWs Inc. was formed, they started to build a master plan for the organization following Rik’s vision to become a national organization. Charlie Russell, a corporate executive with a marketing background stepped in to help with both the professionalism of marketing content and the master plan. The organization also decided to create the role of Executive Director to lead it. Charlie served as Executive Director until a permanent Director could be hired in 2018.

SAWs Ramps today

The 20th anniversary will happen in 2023 as SAWs approaches its 4,000th ramp, a milestone to be celebrated by many. SAWs coverage includes about 68 of Indiana’s 92 counties, including most of the major metropolitan areas.

SAWs also builds Virginia and Arizona, with new groups forming in Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. In 2022, SAWs constructed 425 ramps in Indiana, demonstrating that their efforts to establish a high-volume capacity are yielding positive results. There are currently over 200 people on the waiting list to receive their ramps.  This further confirms that ramps are greatly needed in most communities. The search for funding, volunteers, and partners never ends. If you are interested in exploring how you could help, please visit the website at

SAWs Expanding Operations in Pulaski County

We are delighted to share that Servants at Work (SAWS) is expanding its operations to Pulaski County in February 2022. This partnership with BraunAbility and the Community Foundation of Pulaski County will enable us to provide additional support and assistance to families in Winamac and Pulaski County. By entering into this partnership, we are taking an exhilarating step towards our goal of granting people with ambulatory disabilities from low-income households access and mobility.

At a meeting in Winamac, SAWs’ staff joined forces with BraunAbility and the Community Foundation of Pulaski County to discuss plans for constructing buildings that would be accessible to Pulaski County’s residents. Volunteers prefabricate wooden ramps on site and BraunAbility provides the space for this purpose, with the ramps then being assembled at clients’ homes. At the BraunAbility facility, SAWs toured the premises and had the chance to speak with accessibility advocates. SAWs have committed to constructing numerous additional ramps provided by BraunAbility over the coming year for residents. The Winamac area is seeing an increase in access and enhanced lives for people living with disabilities, thanks to the collective efforts of SAWS, BraunAbility, and the Community Foundation of Pulaski County.

By working together, we will construct ramps in the area to ensure that everyone is able to access their residences securely and with ease. This project is made possible thanks to the generous support of BraunAbility, the Community Foundation of Pulaski County, and all of our donors. The Pulaski County Community Foundation has generously awarded SAWs a grant of $11,500 to build new, ADA-compliant custom ramps for 5 to 6 families. BraunAbility volunteers are helping SAWs to design and construct a ramp at each client’s residence. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to create a more inclusive community for people of all abilities, and we are eager to have a positive effect.

To donate online, apply for a ramp, or to find out more information, please visit

SAWs Ramps and Partnerships

By Tim Thurston

Meet Eugene, an 80-year-old Navy Vet who lives alone in Mooresville. This is his new ramp SAWs placed in late July.

One of the best things about building ramps is witnessing a person’s joy in getting in and out of a home safely.

So, how does this happen? What gives SAWs the opportunity to do this?


These partnerships make this happen. From our referral partners, to our network of volunteers, to lumber suppliers, and finally to service-minded groups working collectively to get Eugene this ramp.

We are fortunate to have built relationships with community members statewide that allow us to transform people’s lives. For example, we have a network of referral agencies that alert us to ramp needs. Grace-At-Home referred Eugene to SAWs. They provide house calls to homebound or home-limited patients and recognized the need for Eugene’s safety.

Once SAWs receives a referral, our team of volunteers takes over. Eugene was contacted by one of our Customer Service Representatives to verify and validate all information provided in the ramp application. Another volunteer sent a waiver form to Eugene as well as received written permission from his landlord to build a ramp. Our volunteer Site Surveyor made an appointment with Eugene to visit at his home so measurements and pictures could be taken to design his ramp. Next, our Ramp Designer created a materials list and fabrication plan for Eugene’s ramp. These volunteers rock!

One of our lumber partners – Gillman Home Center Edinburgh – supplied the lumber and fasteners for Eugene’s ramp. Gillman gives SAWs special pricing for materials and we cherish how much they support SAWs’ mission.

Finally, Westlake Church Of God gathered a group of its members to build Eugene’s ramp. We met on a steamy July morning, said a prayer, and in 5 hours, built Eugene’s ramp. We called Eugene several weeks after he received the ramp to ask how it was working. He told us, “I’m very pleased with the ramp. It allows me to go outside now and enjoy the sun. It’s fantastic. I could not do that with a ramp. I no longer fear falling.”

It is through these partners – statewide – that SAWs fulfills its mission to provide freedom one ramp at a time. We are eternally grateful for these partnerships. Thank you for making this happen.