Stillwater News Press

Local News

January 30, 2014

Church provides power chairs to those in need

STILLWATER, Okla. — Glencoe United Methodist Mobility Ministry is looking to help people who have lost their mobility.

Retired minister Rev. Harold Wheeler said the ministry is his brainchild.

“I retired from the pulpit in June of 2008, and this is something I have been thinking about for quite awhile,” Wheeler said. “I thought this would be ideal for our area. There are so many people that can’t afford the power wheelchairs that need them.”

The church acquired a $10,000 grant in 2010 and uses the money to repair donated wheel and power chairs.

“We have the regular push wheelchairs, transfer wheelchairs, walkers, and at this time we have some hospital beds that have been donated to the ministry,” Wheeler said.

The ministry has approximately 30 people who are using the chairs. Anyone can apply for a chair. If approved, they are given a chair free of charge. Wheeler said the ministry only asks that people return power chairs when they are done with them so others can benefit as well.

“We don’t even keep track of the regular wheelchairs or walkers. Whoever needs one, we give them one and that’s it,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler said the ministry picks up donated chairs and delivers them to applicants. The church only uses the grant money to refurbish broken chairs, not buy new ones. Vonda Brake and Kenneth Brake own the shop that holds and repairs the chairs.

“It came to my house because we had an empty shop,” Vonda Brake said.

Kenneth Brake used to do mechanical work on cars before he suffered a stroke. Now he uses a power chair and spends his time fixing chairs for others.

“Ken’s out there a lot,” Vonda Brake said. “I’d say in the summer almost everyday.”

“I spend most of my time hauling them around, giving them to people and picking them up,” Vonda Brake said.

Wheeler said the ministry is expensive to operate, but he knows the ministry isn’t his.

“This is God’s ministry, it’s not ours,” Wheeler said.

“However big He wants it to go, He’ll provide whatever it needs. We know that.”

If you are in need of a chair you can contact the ministry at 405-377-3945 or email iam_redeemed@att.net.

 

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