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Rotary Clubs Receive $57K For Wheelchairs



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An organization called Hope Haven is known for it's work with people with disabilities. But without support from the community they wouldn't be able to provide their services. And Monday, thanks to Sioux Falls Rotary Clubs, Hope Haven will be able to help even more people around the world.

"With these few little things, you can do so much," said Sandra Christenson, the Vice President of the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary Club.

Christenson says she learned this first hand when she and her husband Jim visited Romania last year. The couple was traveling with the Hope Haven organization, who distribute and adjust wheelchairs for those who are in need of a new one or those who simply don't have one. One man's story is a story Sandra says she will never forget.

Christenson said, "A young father led in by his wife crawling on one stump and one leg because he couldn't afford a wheelchair."

Hope Haven was able to give him that gift. You see, the organization collects old and damaged equipment such as walkers, crutches, and wheelchairs. Through volunteers they're able to refurbish them and send them to countries such as Romania and Guatemala. Then the true magic happens.

Christenson said, "We made the chairs fit the recipients so they finally had the freedom to get out of the trap of there apartment to go shopping, to hold a job, so they could reunite their families."
    
The stories touched Rotarians like Sandra so much, several of it's clubs came together to apply for grants for the cause. Needless to say their hard work paid off. On Monday, Hope Haven was presented a $57,760 check.    

Hope Haven Executive Director David VanNingen said, "We figure a chair is going to cost anywhere from $150 to $300, so almost $60,000 will help a lot of people."

Nearly $60,000 to continue their work, work that touches the lives of so many.

Hope Haven operates out of Rock Valley, Iowa, but have programs in 24 communities around the Midwest.
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