Archives for posts with tag: wheelchair recycling

We are starting again in earnest to recondition equipment and share our need of volunteers, and ways younger folks can help make a difference in the lives of persons with disabilities world wide:

If you lead a youth group, and can come on a Saturday morning, we have acres of walkers that need checked for functionality: with the good ones getting any missing rubber feet and shrink wrapped for shipping and the broken ones set aside to strip for scrap metal. We also have lots of crutches that need paired, and tipped with missing rubber feet and wrapped as well.

Wheels of Hope donated crutches and walkers in need of sorting and reconditioning for shipment to those in need in Thailand or Honduras

If you like to pull things apart: we have some wooden racks that we wish to disassemble, to make room for another staging area that is closer to the shop.

If you want to learn how to recondition wheelchairs in the heated shop, we need a new team of a few younger volunteers to come in one day a week and start the restoration train going again. 

Wheels of Hope donated wheelchairs in need of reconditioning in 2021 and beyond


All has remained quiet at the warehouse over the last 18 months, as one Covid wave after another makes us reconsider recruiting a new team of retirees to volunteer. We were hopeful after so many we knew were vaccinated, but then break-through Covid redefined the whole concept of break-through … In September we lost a dear friend and long-time Wheels of Hope financial supporter to break-through Covid. And the new wrinkle of infections and spread among the fully vaccinated does influence what older retirees can safely do. We will not recruit the vulnerable … 

The photo below is telling: the date on the tag is when our team of faithful octogenarians last volunteered. After many had served since their early 70s … it all came to a screeching halt in March 2020. Who knew these dedicated volunteers, many in fragile states of health, would never be able to safely return?

The reconditioning date of this donated chair from the Akron Canton airport reads 2-20-20 … just about the last week our volunteers worked as a team.


The good news is we’re all tired of the isolation, and the warehouse is BIG … we have so much floor space one can almost get lost in the maze … so it truly is one of the safer places to visit and fellowship for younger, more healthy people.

Meanwhile, there have been plenty of specialty chairs to keep Patrick busy, although working alone. These complicated seating systems require more expertise, and Patrick never got time to fix them when he was managing volunteers, looking to supply our team with the basic chairs and parts and assisting them as needed.

So these 18 months have not been wasted.

We want to continue to be good stewards of every donated piece of equipment we receive, and can’t keep them waiting …

Please spread the word: Uncle Patrick needs your (?) TLC!

Our warehouse location is in Canton, Ohio on the second floor above The Stock Pile, 1387 Clarendon Ave SW, Canton, Ohio 44710.

E-mail patrick@wheelsofhope.org if you are interested in helping to set up a time. Thanks!

Wheels of Hope is dedicated to keeping wheelchairs, medical supplies and other DME out of landfills. Every item we receive is either refurbished, dismantled and sorted for recyclable parts, or we find other ministries that can use medical supplies. Lastly, if no use can be found or made, donations are cleaned and recycled.

This year, we received a surprise financial gift from the Kimble Foundation. Our Board of Directors elected to allocate the funds for a long-overdue clean-out of our warehouse of long-accumulated damaged donations that we cannot recondition to distribute overseas (No Junk for Jesus!) We allocated funds to set up a second day for Director of Operations, Patrick Rimke, to assess, sort, clean and move out these materials to recycling facilities. We also allocated funds to buy any needed parts to make some of the broken things whole again to ship overseas to help those who need it most.

The result? We have thus far recycled gel cell batteries from power wheelchairs, aluminum from damaged walkers, bent or broken wheelchair parts and other miscellaneous goods. These different metals were cleaned, sorted and delivered to Jeffco which recycles scrap metal for re-use. We received an additional small fee of $438, not enough to offset our costs, so the grant from Kimble made this service feasible.

Seven pallets of flattened cardboard boxes were also delivered to River Valley Paper. We have more to recycle and look forward to volunteer crews to help on Saturday Warehouse Whip-it events Nov. 30th and Dec. 7th.

We partnered with Jay’s Recycling to scrap and recycle our broken and damaged steel. Presently, we are accumulating more steel and mixed metals to make it worth another trip. It is best to have 3-4 tons at a time, and the price per ton has been low over the years. Jay works hard!

We have plastic parts from damaged bathroom aids to recycle. We will take our broken plastics to the Kimble recycle plant near our facility, once we have enough.

We receive medical supplies that our partnering in-country organizations (The RICD Wheelchair Project in Thailand and Christo Ayuda in Chile) can’t use, like aerosol machines, ventilators, oxygen equipment, adult diapers, bandages and other home medical devices. We re-donate these to Central American Medical Outreach, Vine International and other local ministries that distribute these items to Honduras and Guatemala.

Many heartfelt thanks to the Kimble Foundation for assisting us with our recycling efforts for those broken pieces and parts that remain unfit for distribution to persons with disabilities, and for giving that forgotten wheelchair that only needs a wheel-lock a chance to bless someone in need!

In the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew testament, God walks with Adam in the Garden and gives him and Eve dominion over the land, asking them to take care of….well, the whole planet basically. Since that time, humans have done good at points and done bad at points when it comes to gratefully and reverently caring for the world that was given to us.

“Reduce, Reuse, Recyle” has become the most current slogan for getting folks to consider their consumptive habits as humans, and while “recycle” seems to be the action most folks are paying attention to in that exhortation, “reuse” is a powerful action verb too.

When it comes to Wheels of Hope, we’re all about “reuse.”  Our mission of seeking wheelchair donations, repairing those wheelchairs, and then distributing them to the needy in third world countries as part of the bigger picture of showing them the love of Jesus, truly encapsulates that second “R” – Reuse – and adds a fourth “R” as well….Redemption. Those who donate to Wheels of Hope are helping to redeem the lives of the poor and broken in faraway places, as well as introducing them to the King of Kings who can truly redeem them in this life and for all eternity.

Won’t you join us in spreading the 4 “R”s with a support donation sometime soon? We know quite a few needy people who’ll never get the chance to meet you in this world, but will be grateful for the rest of their days for your help.

— Daiv