Wheelchairs, especially those that are electric- or battery-powered, can cost more than one could expect. This poses a problem for those individuals who need one but don't possess the money to purchase one. That is why nonprofit agencies and other organizations are calling out to the people with generous hearts to donate either wheelchairs or money to purchase the equipment.
The Season for Caring Program is reader-funded program of Austin American-Statesman. The program is dedicated to underprivileged families and individuals within the community and raises funds to provide for basic needs and services to these people as well as to the nonprofit organizations helping and serving them.
Rutakabandi Bernard, one of the featured individuals in the Season for Caring Program, is a refugee spending many years of his life in a Tanzanian camp when he got separated from his family in Burundi after the 1972 massacres. His health since has deteriorated.
This 82-year-old Burundian suffered a stroke about 5 years ago. He is having a hard time walking despite the help of a cane and walker. His right arm has twisted in position making it more difficult for him to accomplish his daily routine.
He has a motorized wheelchair but his caseworker, Claire Rheaume, expressed that she always has a hard time putting the wheelchair in her car when she takes Bernard for an errand or appointment to the doctor. In addition to that, Bernard’s chair is inconvenient because it does not meet his personal needs.
Two readers have donated manual wheelchairs for Bernard. and Family Eldercare, the nonprofit group Rheaume works with and is responsible for the care of elderly people like Bernard, needs to take a look at the donated chairs and evaluate which one fits him the best. Anna Madrigal, the development coordinator of the aforementioned group, stated that they are particular with the safety of the patient that is why they need to have a look at the chairs first, even if those are for Bernard, the wheels may not be fitting to a particular patient.
Because there are still a lot of people like Bernard, and most of them require chairs that are especially made to match their specific needs, a call to donate or financially support them is being conveyed or expressed by the Season for Care Program as well as the nonprofit agencies working for the care of those individuals. These individuals greatly need the help of others to find the equipment they need to thrive.