Free Rides

Free Rides

Once upon a time I owned a Puma.

The body was yellow fiberglass. The seats were black leather. The powertrain was an under-powered VW Beetle rear-mount engine and the transmission was a simple 4-speed stick. Boy was it fun.

The fairytale ended the same way all car ownership stories end – I sold it after a few summers. With cars there’s always a market, no matter the age or the condition.

My friend, John, drives a powered wheelchair that has full motion control of all seating functions. It’s a slick ride and it can hail butt down the road. This wheelchair costs as much as a new car to replace. And John has to replace it every few years, but unlike the car market, there isn’t a market for used wheelchairs.

Similarly, used assisting devices rarely find a second home even if they are free and in good condition. There are lots of stories of used devices going unused even if the owners are willing to give them away.

In my community, we have several ways to recycle your ride. Two worth highlighting are MMC Thrift Stores and ALS Society of Ontario.

MMC (Mennonite Central Committee) operates several non-profit thrift stores. They accept donations of high quality used equipment and resell them at a significant discount. Proceeds support MCC’s humanitarian efforts around the world.

The ALS Society has an equipment program that needs donations of mobility devices, supports lifts and communication devices. All donations are refurbished then made available to ALS families for free. With everything ALS patients go through, this equipment program is an incredible help. Donations are coordinated by contacting the ALS Society of Ontario, 905.248.2101.

By recycling your ride, you create a way for others to lower their healthcare costs when they need your help most.

Your ride gains a second life.