Former Merchant Marine with Disabilities Receives Community Quarterback Award from St. Louis Rams For Volunteer Service to St. Louis Health Equipment Lending Program (St. Louis HELP).
Leo McGeoghegan, a former Merchant Marine disabled in a spinal cord accident, has received a Georgia Frontiere Community Quarterback Award from the St. Louis Rams for his extraordinary volunteer service with the nonprofit St. Louis HELP organization (www.stlhelp.org), which freely loans home health equipment to anyone who needs it.
"Being paralyzed and in a power wheelchair may stop some people, but Leo McGeoghegan makes limitations seem nonexistent. For more than six years, Leo has used his carpentry skills, helpful demeanor and positive attitude to enhance the St. Louis HELP lending program," lauded St. Louis Rams executives in ceremonies December 5 at the Rams Park training facility of the National Football League team.
As a volunteer, McGeoghegan, age 63, organized the St. Louis HELP warehouse by building custom shelves, tables and display racks for donated home health equipment items. He improved systems for processing home health equipment and distributing the items such as walkers, wheelchairs, crutches and canes free to people who can't afford to rent or to buy it. For his volunteer service, McGeoghegan received an awards plaque from St. Louis Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff and Lucia Rodriguez, Rams owner Emeritus and daughter of former owner Georgia Frontiere.
"Leo is a blessing for the people we serve and the St. Louis HELP organization as a whole," says Executive Director Laura Cannon Singer, who founded St. Louis HELP in 2008. "He often spends weekends working on projects for us just to save St. Louis HELP time and money in addition to volunteering during the week. He made certain our program can accommodate all ages by helping to set up a 'pediatric only' section of our warehouse. Leo often volunteers to distribute equipment to people he meets in the community outside of his volunteer hours.
"Everyone at St. Louis HELP loves working with Leo because he proudly displays the possible instead of what is not possible," says Singer.
St. Louis HELP, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization, is headquartered at a 5,000-square-foot warehouse in the St. Louis suburb of Olivette filled with donated wheelchairs, crutches, canes, beds and other devices that it cleans and reconditions. Operated almost entirely by volunteers, St. Louis HELP freely loans about $1.2 million in donated, reconditioned equipment every year to people who can keep it for as long as necessary.
"We accept donations of nearly every type of home medical equipment in good working condition - except oxygen and medications. We revitalize and clean the equipment so it's ready to loan to needy people or their caregivers," Singer says. For information or to donate used home health equipment, see the website www.stlhelp.org or call (314) 567-4700.
In August 2014, St. Louis HELP received a prestigious "Point of Light Award" from Points of Light, the volunteer management organization founded in 1990 in response to President George Bush's call for volunteer community service.
The Georgia Frontiere Community Quarterback Award is sponsored by the St. Louis Rams and GFI Digital, Inc., and recognizes outstanding volunteers in the St. Louis Bi-state area. The program honors individuals who exemplify leadership, dedication and commitment to improving the communities in which they love through volunteerism.
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