Ramp It Up: Changing Lives in Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach, California is a beautiful coastal community known for its stunning sunsets and laid-back atmosphere. But it’s also home to a group called Ramp It Up, a unique organization that is making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Recently, we had the privilege of meeting Tom, the founder of Ramp It Up, and Junco, a puppy in training to become a service dog.
Junco is being trained to assist Tom with various tasks, such as providing counterbalance, picking up items, and helping with navigating stairs. For Tom, Junco is not just a companion, but a crucial support system. “He’s my railing and balance,” Tom explains, emphasizing the vital role that Junco plays in his daily life. The bond between Tom and Junco is evident, and it’s clear that Junco’s presence brings a sense of independence and freedom to Tom.
One of the essential aspects of Junco’s training is socialization, and Sunset Beach provides the perfect setting for this. As Tom and Junco spend time in this vibrant community, Junco is exposed to various stimuli, including other dogs, people, and bicycles. This exposure helps Junco maintain his focus on Tom and develop the necessary skills to be a reliable service dog.
In addition to their regular socialization outings, Ramp It Up hosts a monthly event on the second Saturday of each month, where they invite people to try out hand cycles. These hand cycles allow individuals with disabilities to experience the exhilaration of moving under their own power. The event not only promotes physical activity but also fosters a sense of inclusion and empowerment within the community.
Tom expresses that the primary motivation behind Ramp It Up is to bring joy and happiness to others. “We want to see giant smiles on their faces,” he says with passion and enthusiasm. By providing opportunities for people with disabilities to engage in outdoor activities and connect with others, Ramp It Up is spreading positivity and making a tangible impact in the lives of many.
As we spent time with Tom and Junco, it became evident that their journey is not just about training a service dog – it’s about creating a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. “This is why we’re doing it,” Tom says, emphasizing the significance of their work.
In Sunset Beach, Ramp It Up is not only changing the lives of individuals with disabilities but also shaping a community where compassion, empowerment, and joy abound. Through their dedication and passion, Tom, Junco, and the entire Ramp It Up team are making a lasting difference, one smile at a time.
Video “MobilityDog Ramp It Up Adventures with SD/SDiT & Bikes!” was uploaded on 09/19/2023 by Mobility Service Dogs- West Coast Project Youtube channel.