Darien group joins effort to get wheelchairs to those in need
Updated 3:02 pm, Wednesday, August 9, 2017
DARIEN — In South America, a young boy’s father carried his son to school each day on his back so his son could get an education. When he grew too heavy to carry, the Free Wheelchair Mission, faith-based nonprofit, stepped in and gave the boy a sturdy chair to get around.
“The chair gave him the ability to finish school,” said Kim Babcock, of Right at Home. “He’s now running a business making pinatas. It’s cool seeing the Mission and what they’ve provided.”
Worlds away from this boy, Babcock is the vice president of operations of Right At Home in Darien. She runs the Darien branch of the in-home care company with her husband, David Babcock, who is the branch owner. The Darien office serves the communities of Darien, Norwalk Stamford, New Canaan and Greenwich.
The Babcock’s were at Right At Home’s annual meeting when they heard the corporation was partnering with the Free Wheelchair Mission. The humanitarian group partners with many corporations to help provide wheelchairs to people living in developing nations.
“Their goal is to provide the gift of mobility to people all over the world,” Kim Babcock said. “The goal was to provide inexpensive, but durable wheelchairs.”
How to Help
To donate, visit bit.ly/2vrzRlL
For more information, contact Right at Home of Darien at 203-202-9488 or online at www.rightathome.net/darien
Since 2001, the Free Wheelchair Mission has already provided over one million wheelchairs worldwide to people of all ages who’ve lost their mobility due illness or malnutrition. The mission has served people in 93 countries worldwide, particularly in Vietnam, India, China, Peru and the Philippines. The cost of a single chair is only $80 and the parts are then shipped to developing countries where they’re assembled and handed out by volunteers.
Kim and David Babcock are hoping to raise $5,000 which goes directly to the mission to help buy the parts for wheelchairs. In October, Kim Babcock will go to to Costa Rica on a mission to help assemble the wheelchairs and go to local villages to deliver them.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to go on a mission trip,” she said. “It’s always been our goal to help people.”
While the residents the Babcocks are assisting in Darien might not be battling mobility issues to the same extreme as the people receiving the chairs, the struggle of losing mobility is something the couple helps clients with every day.
“A lot of people use walkers, but at some point, a walker doesn’t really work,” David Babcock said.
Many of the people the Babcocks assist through Right at Home have the mobility aids they need, so the Babcocks try to provide in-home services and services throughout the town to make daily life accessible for people in wheelchairs.
“When we talk about at home care, it can be home, community or a hospital,” David Babcock said. “It’s a broad way of looking at at-home care.”
In addition to kicking off fundraising for the Free Wheelchair Mission, the Babcocks are also looking into other programs to help people in mobility aids, including a wheelchair recycling program and a program to assist people with the mobility transition.
“It’s a great cause and we’re going to make noise about it,” Kim Babcock said. “It’s become a cause that just peaked my interest.”