The Clarke University Organization of Student Physical Therapists (COSPT) is again seeking donations of used or broken wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, or canes.
COSPT will collect assistive devices from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 13, at the main entrance of Catherine Byrne Hall on the Clarke campus. If unable to donate that day, please call (563)588-6382 to make arrangements to drop items off in the Physical Therapy office in the main lobby of Catherine Byrne Hall.
The items will be donated to Wheels for the World, a non-profit organization that refurbishes the devices and sends them to countries without access to such devices. Wheels for the World collects the items that are refurbished by inmates at a correctional facility in Kansas. The wheelchairs are then shipped worldwide where teams of physical or occupational therapists, wheelchair mechanics, and others assist with distribution. The gift of a wheelchair or other assistive device can transform the life of a person with a disability.
Chair and Professor of Physical Therapy Bill O’Dell said, “Clarke’s Physical Therapy department has been involved in this charity for more than 13 years, and it has always been a great success. Our best year, we donated 530 wheelchairs in addition to walkers and crutches. These assistive devices have gone to many far-reaching areas including Central America, Africa, and Haiti.”
DPT student Lauren Timmerman shared, “I have worked with the Wheels for the World Program since my first year in the DPT program. Each semester that we collect, I am pleasantly surprised by all the donations from the community. I feel that I can help make a difference in the lives of others through this program and it is gratifying to know that wheelchairs and other assistive devices are refurbished and given to those who are less fortunate. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to be a part of this program and look forward to continuing my involvement in the future.”
Clarke University will celebrate its 175th anniversary throughout the 2018-19 academic year. Founded in 1843 by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Clarke is located near the Mississippi River in the thriving city of Dubuque, Iowa. It is the only BVM university in the country.
Clarke is a Catholic, liberal arts and sciences university dedicated to preparing students who positively impact their workplace, family, and community. Academic offerings include 37 undergraduate liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs, and six graduate degree programs.