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April 25, 2008

Safe at Home Program Builds Wheelchair Ramp at Staples Couple’s Home

SAN MARCOS, Texas—The "Safe at Home" program at Texas State University-San Marcos, under the joint cooperative PRAXIS, completed a wheelchair ramp build on Friday, for Staples residents and Safe at Home clients Leo and Eileen Whitten.

Texas State student volunteers from the Health Administration department, under the supervision of Seth Lawhead of Lawhead General Contacting, constructed the ramp at 200 Park Avenue. McCoy's Building Supply donated all the materials for the project.

"The team at McCoy's first introduced me to the project," Lawhead said. "They donate the materials every year and the San Marcos store manager, Randy Haas, asked me if I would step in when the contractor the university had been working with had to bow out. That was six years ago. This is a great project, and I'm happy to donate my time and resources to such a worthy cause."

The Whittens had stairs leading up to the front and back doors of their home.

"Some of their friends and family are wheelchair bound and can’t visit them without the ramp we’re building," student project director, Kirsten Orand said. "Both Leo and Eileen are pretty mobile now, but they want to be prepared for the future."

Safe at Home is a volunteer program, grant funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Texas Long Term Care Institute, aimed at reducing the risk of death and injury from falls in the home. The program focuses on people who are at high risk for falls, mainly elderly and disabled members of the community.

Program volunteers visit homes of community members weekly to see what minor repairs need to be made to make the home safer. Typical repairs include removing clutter from hallways, installing smoke detectors, installing grab bars in bathrooms, applying slip resistant adhesive in bathtubs and showers, as well as numerous other safeguards.

The program culminates with an annual large-scale build, such as a disability access ramp.

Safe at Home is self-sustaining non-profit organization, operating on donations from members of the community. Contributions from volunteers and organizations such as McCoy's Building Supply make projects such as building a wheelchair ramp possible.

For more information about making a donation, or if you have someone you'd like to refer to the free program, please contact Kirsten Orand by calling (512) 396-4222.

For more information about Lawhead General Contracting, visit To learn more about McCoy's, visit

About McCoy's
Founded in 1923, McCoy's is a retail building supply company providing a complete array of building materials and services to its customer base of those who are "born to build." The San Marcos, Texas-based McCoy's employs more than 2,000 people and operates 85 stores in five states, including Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The company can be found online at