CRUTCHES 4 AFRICA
REGION -- The River Valley Rotary Club, with the help of a Vocational Region 9 driving instructor, recently delivered a truck full of crutches, canes and walkers to Saco to benefit the Crutches 4 Africa program, according to President Roger Whitehouse.
Whitehouse said each Rotary Club is allowed to choose a charity.
“Each club picks something that will help out the world in some way,” said Whitehouse. “We saw a video about 2 1/2 years ago about Crutches 4 Africa, which is an international program where unused crutches, canes and walkers are gathered up and shipped to Africa for those in need.
“There are thousands of people in Africa right now in need of assistance, due to apartheid-related injuries, polio and other diseases,” he said.
On Friday, Sept. 27, members of the River Valley Rotary Club and Vocational Region 9 driving instructor Ed Naples gathered a truckload of donated canes, crutches and walkers and drove them to McAllister Machines in Saco, where they will be packaged and shipped to Africa.
“Places like Walmart, Riverside Realty and different local nursing homes put out barrels for people to donate their walking devices,” Whitehouse said. “It doesn't matter if they're broken or not. There are people waiting in Africa to repair any of the broken crutches, canes and walkers that are donated.”
The club delivered two loads of walking devices to Saco in 2013 and will continue to do so.
“We've been doing this for almost three years,” Whitehouse said. “It's a good cause for us to be involved with.”
River Valley Rotary Club President Roger Whitehouse, center, shakes hands with Vocational Region 9 driving instructor Ed Naples shortly after they delivered a truckload of crutches, canes and walkers to McAllister Machines in Saco. The donated equipment will be shipped to Africa. From left are Rotarian Read Dickinson, Naples, Whitehouse and Rotarians Bill Gates and Tim Placey.