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May 30, 2017

The Gift of Mobility for Belize’s Disabled

Caribbean Motors in Belize City today hosted a special donation ceremony by the Saint Paul Lutheran Church of Fort Worth, Texas and the Central American Lutheran Mission Society, in association with the Inspiration Center and Guatemalan organization Hope Haven. Ninety wheelchairs, special-built in the U.S., are being handed over this week to first-time users, giving them the gift of mobility despite their various maladies. News Five’s Aaron Humes reports.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

Having lost the ability to move around on one’s own feet is no death sentence. With the advance of technology, wheelchairs have become all things to those disabled persons able to afford them. For those who cannot, organizations such as the congregation of St. Paul Lutheran Church are here to help.

 

Phil Davis

Phil Davis, St. Paul Lutheran Church

“What we are doing here is giving mobility to Belizeans. We are giving wheelchairs to youth, to young adults, children, to other people, to handicapped adults that are suffering from cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other diseases and other ailments. There are individuals here right now who from a nursing home and a care center and they’re getting outfitted with wheelchairs that have never experienced mobility except through some shared wheelchairs.”

 

Guatemala’s Hope Haven Ministries and Belize’s Inspiration Center reached hands across the border to collaborate with the Lutherans on bringing various benefits to this special group of individuals, including greater inclusion in society.

 

Ilse Garcia

Ilse Garcia, Hope Haven Guatemala

“For some people it is independence, for other people that do depend on caregivers it would be comfort, better posture; and for all of them it is to improve the quality of their lives.”

 

Beverly Hoffman

Sister Beverly Hoffman, Physical Therapist, Inspiration Center
“At the Inspiration Center, we do believe in a collaborative mode, so we like to collaborate with other entities to get wheelchairs here in the country. So it has been a pleasure to work with Caribbean Motors, with Hope Haven International, with CALMS and the Inspiration Center. Our part of it was to coordinate on the ground measuring of wheelchairs; so our field officers that are located in each district found people that needed wheelchairs, both adults and children; and we measured them and sent that to Ilse so that we could get the right wheelchairs here.”

 

Caribbean Motors played hosts as responsible corporate citizens.

 

Leroy Gentle

Leroy Gentle, Sales Executive, Caribbean Motors

“Caribbean Motors/Caribbean Tire, we always, always are looking forward to ensuring that the customers that come to us or the people that does business with us or find us at some point for need or help or something like that – we always try to ensure that we behave in such a way that we can translate the love of God or the love of a community that we really should have.”

 

And the recipients, such as those at the Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly which got seven wheelchairs and four walkers, are suitably grateful.

 

Sonia Suazo

Sonia Suazo, Assistant Supervisor, Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly

“I would like to thank Caribbean Motors for that wonderful donation that they gave to our home, the wheelchairs and the walkers for the residents. So I would like to thank them from the bottom of our heart, the Board of Directors of Sister Cecilia Home. And we appreciate whatever we get from you all, and may God continue to bless you all that you could continue to give donation to others who need it.  God bless you all.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

Approximately twenty wheelchairs remain for distribution. Those needing one may visit Caribbean Motors’ office on the Philip Goldson Highway on a first-come, first-served basis. The total value of the donation is forty-five thousand dollars, as each wheelchair cost five hundred Belize dollars or two hundred and fifty U.S. dollars.

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