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Organized on Valentines Day,
2015, Veterans Mobility was formed to provide power wheelchairs to
Veterans, Spouses, and Children of veterans. We continue to
collect donated, discarded, or abandoned power wheelchairs and
scooters. then, refurbish them to as new condition as possible then
give them free to Veterans and their families.
Each chair we've delivered has a story,
and each of those stories has a happy ending. The joy we see in the faces we see
when we deliver newfound mobility is tremendous!
Veterans Mobility Corp (VMC)
operates totally on grants, donations and volunteer labor. Our
organization picks up donated power wheelchairs, many in very bad
condition; we dissemble them, repair any worn or damaged upholstery
and structural components, replace non-repairable parts, install new
batteries, reassemble, paint and re-upholster, if required.
completion, the chairs are tested, fitted to the recipient, double
checked for safety and then delivered to the new owner.
To date, we
have processed and delivered 256 power wheelchairs. The majority of
these chairs are in the Southeast Idaho area, although we have sent
one to Virginia, one to Wisconsin, and six to California, five to
northern Utah and one to Yuma, Arizona.
We have 256
stories to go with the 256 power wheelchairs we’ve given, some
stories sad and heart- breaking but everyone has a happy ending.
They range from the Vietnam Veteran on the front of our brochure who
had a leg amputated at EIRMC because of complications caused by
Agent Orange. EIRMC called us because he was a Veteran headed home
to American Falls the next day. He needed a power chair because of
partial paralysis on his left side, only manual chairs were
available. When he arrived home the next day, we were there, waiting
for him, with a newly refurbished Jazzy power chair. To the 9 year
old daughter of Navy Veterans who contracted a rare disease when her
parents were stationed in Africa. The girl with her large pink teddy
bear (donated by Toys for Tots) are doing fine. We are currently
constructing a very special chair for an 18 year old daughter of
another Navy Veteran who was born with no arms or legs. The chair
has a platform on the back for Mom, with controls, and can be
operated by the girl’s head movements. Veterans too, one local Vet
was with Pappy Boyington and another served with General Patton,
both in WWII, another on our brochure, lost his leg and suffers from
toxic exposure in the Gulf War.There are
stories too when we pick-up the chairs, always about the previous
occupant of the chair, and the role the chair played in their lives.
The fellow who got us started by donating his father’s chair (father
was awarded a Bronze Star in Korea) who wanted the chair to go to
another Veteran. We got the chair in boxes so we learned from it how
to work on power wheelchairs. We color matched the chair to a
Vietnam era HUEY helicopter, stenciled the wheel fenders to look
like a Vietnam era Jeep, and had the Vietnam combat ribbon
embroidered into the head rest. We gave the chair to a Veteran in
the Pocatello Veterans Home, a brown water Navy Seal who took a
bullet in the back that put him in a chair and later had a stroke
that left his right side paralyzed. His caregiver said she had known
him six years and never saw him smile, now he’s not stopped smiling
since we gave him the chair. A therapist at the Veterans Home in
Pocatello once told us, “You are not just giving people mobility
you’re giving them back a life”. We see this with every chair we
cost of refurbishing a chair is $550 - $1,500, some run has high as
$2,500 - $3,000. All our labor is donated, there are no salaries or
administrative costs. Even the majority of transportation costs are
donated. Batteries, chargers, and controllers are the high cost
items. Batteries + Bulbs in Idaho Falls has given us a discount
since our beginning, however batteries are specialized and therefore
quite expensive. Our
organization has a growing list of helpful businesses in the Idaho
Falls area providing services we are unable to do free of charge.
They include: DeeRay’s Autobody in Shelly (body work, paint),
Walkers Upholstery in Basalt, Carter Upholstery in Pocatello, Miller
Metal Works in Idaho Falls (welding, metal work), Autobody Paint and
Supply in Idaho Falls, Ace Hardware in Shelly (cleaning supplies,
small hardware) CV World in Idaho Falls, (electronics, programming,
and electrical repair).
Happy Mom can
now see her boys play soccer with new scooter.
Even on a cold
winter day the receipt of a power scooter can make