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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Neighbor was using wheelchair dug out from a dumpster

Send your donation to: The Time Is Now to Help, PO Box 70, Pell Lake, WI 53157


Editor's Note: The following is a letter to The Time Is Now, a private charity serving Walworth County. The founder, who knew poverty as a child, now provides help for those in need. Every penny donated goes to the needy for daily necessities of life. Donors will receive a tax-deductible itemized receipt showing exactly where every penny was spent. We'll publish a letter most weeks.

Dear readers,

I received a letter from a woman who had mistakenly received a package that was addressed to her neighbor. As a good neighbor, she went over and knocked on the door. As she knocked on the door she could hear a radio playing inside. She knocked a little bit louder and after a few moments she heard, "I'll be right there."

The radio had been shut off and a few moments later she heard, "I'm coming, please wait."

By then, her curiosity was aroused about what was taking so long. Finally the door opened up a few inches but was stopped by something. Her first thought was that it was a security device of some kind, but then she noticed that the person inside was pulling on the door, moving a bit, pulling on the door, moving a bit and finally the door was open wide enough that she could peer in.

She could not see anyone yet because the person attempting to open the door was struggling in a broken wheelchair. Finally the person managed to get around the door and say, "Hello, I'm sorry it took so long."

As the neighbor looked at the wheelchair she noticed one of the wheels was bent and the rubber wheel was off. The person had on a glove to prevent her from cutting her hand on the exposed metal rim of the wheel. As the person looked up with an anxious look she ironically asked, "Can I help you?"

The neighbor told me she was so shocked she almost said, "No, can I help you?"

"I'm sorry to bother you," she finally said.

"No, no bother at all," the neighbor said.

"I mistakenly received your package," she handed the package through the door and was thanked.

The good neighbor could not help herself; she immediately went back and wrote me a letter asking that I please check in on the person who was obviously handicapped and in need of help. I could not find a phone number for the person in need, but we had the full name and address from the package. I later found out that this person did not have a phone.

I went over, knocked on the door and once again, just as the neighbor described to me in her letter, I heard the radio in the background.

I introduced myself and explained I was from the Time is Now to Help. After further communication and visiting with this wonderful person, I found that unless you get through all the proper red tape, the government does not help you with a wheelchair. If you do not know how to get through all the bureaucracy you do not receive any help. It seems to be a way to get out of doing what is good for a fellow American.

This person had actually pulled this wheelchair out of the garbage because the wheelchair the person had previously was in worse condition. I looked at the chair and could see that it was very old and beat up. It had served its previous owners with dignity but now this chair was very worn and tired. It was bulky and heavy to move. One wheel was bent and there was no rubber on it. There were many sharp edges and the glove worn to protect her hand actually had cuts in it. I asked the person how long they had been putting up with that chair.

"A long time."

I am sorry, but I do not waste my time anymore with the government, filling out applications and waiting months to get answers. It is too disheartening to see that this is what someone has to go through. I certainly find it hard to believe that someone would lie about needing a wheelchair.

Yes, there may be someone immoral enough to try to receive anything for free they can get in order to sell them for profit. It should not be so difficult for the other 98 percent who really need a chair in order to help themselves get around.

After assessing this situation further I had to ask, "What does this person need?"

As I looked around, I saw much was needed and the income from the disability check would not cover the needs. The daily necessities of some small appliances, a refrigerator, a telephone for emergencies, disability aids, proper food, etc. Even if this is a life in a broken body, it is still life and it should be cherished.

So once again, together with all of your help, the Time is Now reached out to help. We got the much-needed phone. We helped with the appliances to make life a little easier. We reached out to a company that we have purchased many wheelchairs from, Spinlife.com. They offer a great selection of wheelchairs at reasonable prices, delivered right to your door. The prices on wheelchairs have become more reasonable over the years so we were happy to be able to supply a motorized chair.

For those of you who can walk, take a moment out from time to time as you are rushing out of your home to your car, speeding your way through the grocery store, going through your errands like there is no tomorrow and think about each and every step you are able to take. Think of the blessing of that. Don't take it for granted.

Health and happiness,

God bless everyone,


A special thank you to: J.D. Development, MLH, Bill and Lois McEssy, Tom and Kathleen Murray, Dick and Jean Honeyager, Steve and Catherine Boho, Geneva Lake Development Corp., Tom and Mary Johnson, Paul Ziegler, Anthony Condos, Ziegler Charitable Foundation, Dorothy Olsen, Jay Ieronimo, Leather Lips Water Sports, Donald and Kim Parker, Beth Shodeen, Steven and Deidred Trumble, Gerald and Mary Ellen Last, Peterson Drywall, Violet De Wind, Monica Hochevar, Mr. and Mrs. John Zenner, Charles and Nancy Castelein, Mary Kay Frazier, Rudolph and Donna Zwolfer, R. and D. Flaherty, Dennis and Barbara Sulik, William and Jean Isaacson, Patricia Gee, Ralph and Anna Bollinger, Frank and Margaret Ontl, Robert and Mary Lou Schroeder, Evan and Annette Wynn, Patricia Erickson and Lola Sorensen.

Donate stocks/mutual funds, let the government contribute: Consider donating shares of appreciated stocks and mutual funds to The Time Is Now to Help and receive twice the benefits from your gift.



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