Custer residents take wheelchairs overseas
Published: Thursday, February 28th, 2013
For many, obtaining a wheelchair is as easy as picking up a phone and dialing a number. But it’s not that easy for the immobile people in Mexico, Romania or the 104 other countries Hope Haven International helps by donating used wheelchairs. That’s why Mike Chase and Don Kraus got involved.
Hope Haven International, based in Rock Valley, Iowa, collects old, broken-down wheelchairs — most of which are donated — and sends them to be refurbished before taking them to a country of need. The program started after someone traveled to a foreign country and saw that need. To date, over 90,000 wheelchairs have been donated in 106 countries.
Chase and Kraus, members of Custer Rotary Club, which adopted the program as one of its international programs after speaking with a representative from Hope Haven International, have been involved in the statewide wheelchair program and have even gone overseas to donate the chairs.
“It’s really grown leaps and bounds,” Chase said. “A lot of people step forward and help with the program, either rebuilding or delivering, all at their own expenses.”
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