Wheelchairs galore for Salvation Army
The Salvation Army Western Jamaica Division is now a happy place, thanks to a generous donation of 315 new wheelchairs, valued at approximately $4 million, by the worldwide humanitarian organisation, Latter-Day Saint (LDS) Charities.
The donated items, which also includes canes, crutches and walkers, were officially handed over to the local charity institution at the Salvation Army Church on Barnett Street, Montego Bay, yesterday. The donation came at the end of a three-day training workshop, which saw Salvation Army personnel being trained on wheelchair assessment and fitting.
"The training involved 13 persons, who have been certified and are now charged with the responsibility of ensuring that wheelchairs are issued appropriately to the right persons," said Major Edward Lyons, the divisional commander of the Salvation Army Western Jamaica Division.
"What this means is that anyone who has a need will be assessed. Not all will get a wheelchair based upon their ailment, because in some cases, that can aggravate their injury," continued Lyons. "Our personnel are trained in that aspect and as you can see, we are currently running a clinic."
Major Lyons, who lauded LDS Charities on their continued partnership over the years in providing much help and comfort to the very needy in the community, said that the donation will have a significant impact on the lives of the beneficiaries as many are unable to afford a wheelchair, which sometimes cost in excess of $30,000.
"The next step is to get the word out so people can know that they can get wheelchairs here. It has been about a year that we have wanted these. We are happy that LDS Charities have decided to partner with us again," said Major Lyons.
Donald Hart, of the LDS Charities team, told The Gleaner that his group would be back in Jamaica in the near future to do other projects with the Salvation Army.
"We have a very reliable partner in the Salvation Army and we really enjoyed our association with the local assessors, who have been trained," said Hart.
"We have upcoming project, in Suriname and Guyana, but we will be back here in Jamaica to continue the good work."