Arcadia Rotarians Donate Wheelchairs to Needy in Tijuana
By Anne Donofrio-Holter
July 24, 2013 • 345 views
The Arcadia Rotary Club donated 20 wheelchairs which will provide mobility to individuals that have been confined to bed or stationary chairs due to illness or accident, bringing the club’s total wheelchair donation this year to 38 under the guidance of club president Eric Barter.
“When I became president of the Arcadia Rotary Club, I made our mantra, “We Can Make a Difference,” said Barter. “I had seen the success of other Rotary clubs’ wheelchair distribution projects in improving the lives of so many that would otherwise remain immobile and knew we, too, could make a difference.”
“This joint project between the Arcadia and Tijuana Rotary Clubs was the perfect display of what Rotary is all about,” said Arcadia Rotarian Dick Martinez. “The Tijuana Rotarians, with the help of social workers, found the most needy recipients in and around Tijuana.”
Spearheaded by Martinez, the wheelchairs arrived in Arcadia and were then transported to Tijuana by Tijuana club members.
The wheelchair distribution took place at Tijuana’s child protective services center.
“The chairs were ready and waiting when the recipients arrived,” said Barter. “Some recipients could not make it due to their inability to travel and sent family members to pick up their chairs.”
“You could not help but notice a large scar on the lower back of one recipient from back surgery making it impossible for her to walk or even move without assistance,” said Martinez. “Another recipient had only one leg and another was battling cancer.”
“The gratitude expressed by the recipients, their caregivers and families was overwhelming,” said Barter. “Each recipient was so grateful of how our donation helped them improve their quality of life.”
Following the distribution, members of the two clubs celebrated the success of the joint project.
“Fellowship is one of the cornerstones and rewards of being an active Rotarian,” said Martinez.
“I am so proud that our wheelchair donation has found such needy recipients and can make a difference in each of their lives,” said Barter. “After witnessing the response to the donations, our drive to help those in need is even greater.”
The Arcadia Rotary Club meets every Friday from noon to 1:30 pm at the Embassy Suites Hotel located at 211 E Huntington Drive in Arcadia. For additional information, go to www.arcadiarotary.org.