"If you read these letters it will break your heart. Some are missing limbs, have cancer, MS, ALS, you name it..."
AZ Pawn in Norwich, CT takes donations of and purchases used electric scooters, refurbishes them and gives them away to those who need them.
For the last 6 years Phil Pavone owner of AZ Pawn in Norwich, Connecticut has been purchasing and receiving donations of unwanted motorized wheelchairs. He refurbishes them and gives them away to the disabled at Christmas. He calls it "The Gift of Mobility Giveaway". To date he has given away nearly 300 motorized wheelchairs.
Each November he advertises for those in need to write in and "Tell him their Story". He wants to know what their disabilities are, then matches the chair to the individual.
Each year he has a giveaway party. "If you read these letters it will break your heart. Some are missing limbs, have cancer, MS, ALS, you name it. Somehow they fall through the cracks and are denied a motorized chair. Some of these individuals have not left their homes for years", said Pavone.
These chairs have a starting cost of $3500.00 and can be as much as $50,000.00. The cost puts the chairs well out of reach for those who cannot afford them. The irony is that throughout the US there are thousands of these unwanted chairs out there. There are families whose loved ones have passed on or gotten better and no there are no programs in place to pass them on to those in need.
There is no reason that this cannot become a national event with many more volunteers in each state doing the same.
Perhaps in each state they could create a drop off point where unwanted chairs could be donated, refurbished and given away free of charge. He is asking everyone throughout the country to get involved by spreading the word. To do so people can share videos from YouTube. They are listed under AZ Pawn gift of mobility 2013 (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr1E6HHG8FU) and AZ Pawn gift of mobility 2014 (www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqzZYrW9TRo). Pavone says that these videos can be placed or forwarded on social media to help raise awareness for the event. Sharing the videos can offer an example of how others can start similar efforts.
At the very least he hopes to open the public's eyes and end this needless suffering forever. You cannot watch these videos without shedding a tear.
AZ Pawn Gift of Mobility Video Clip