While many residents in Jasper County are fortunate enough to have medical devices in times of need, many in other countries are not as fortunate.
To remedy this need, Skiff Medical Center is partnering with All-Iowa Wheels for the World to conduct a mobility device collection drive Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Residents are asked to donate items such as wheelchairs, aluminum crutches, canes and any parts related to these items.
Skiff’s involvement with the project began with one medical professional.
“There was a physical therapist who had a local connection with this organization and they contacted us and asked us if we would be willing to be a collection site,” Skiff events and community coordinator Leisa Zylstra said.
She also said this was Skiff’s first time partnering with the organization and thought it would be a nice fit for what Skiff stands for.
“It’s also easy because Skiff is easy for people to get to — the doors are always open,” Zylstra said.
Once the event starts, Zylstra said anyone can bring the medical items to the Skiff lobby, and it will take care of the rest.
All items donated will be loaded onto a truck donated by Walmart and taken to a correctional facility in Kansas where inmates will refurbish them. Once refurbished, the devices will be donated to those in need in countries across Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.
She also said Skiff would be interested in participating in future donation events set up by All-Iowa Wheels for the World. Skiff is proud to be a collection site for the organization, she added.
The drive will mark its fourth state-wide drive since 1999. All-Iowa Wheels has been around for more than a decade. Zylstra said the organization has collected and restored almost 3,000 wheelchairs.
All-Iowa Wheels accepts monetary restoration donations of any amount. Each chair costs a total of $150 to restore and ship. The organization asked that all checks be mailed to Wheels for the World c/o Midwest One Bank, Attn: Dirk Ockerlader 1906 Keokuk St., Iowa City, IA 52240, and label the payable line to “Joni and Friends” with “Wheels for the World restoration” on the memo line.
Joniandfriends.org states: “Wheels for the World is not simply about ‘dropping off a wheelchair.’ It’s about changing the hearts, minds and lives of people. It’s about transforming societies, village by village, person by person. Wheels for the World shares the love of Jesus Christ, extended through the gift of mobility, bringing hope, joy, and salvation to children and adults with disabilities around the world.”
The organization also sends a number of medical professions to the countries where the medical devices are donated to properly fit and assist patients’ medical mobility needs. The organization accepts donations for this as well. Checks are asked to be mailed to the aforementioned address and all contributions are tax deductible as Joni and Friends are listed as a nonprofit organization. A receipt will be issued to the writer of the check once processed. For more information visit, the organization’s website at www.iowawftw.org.