DRACUT – The Rotary Club of Dracut brought the plight of those in need in nations around the world to the people of their community last week. The Club launched its latest humanitarian effort on Saturday, September 10th, as part of Dracut’s Old Home Day. The people of Dracut responded overwhelmingly, donating nearly 400 pairs of crutches, walkers, canes, and wheelchairs for the Crutches 4 Africa project.
“I’m thrilled,” said project chair Chuck Moran. “The response we got from the community was tremendous. People stopped at the booth to find out about the drive and how they could donate their used crutches,” said Moran. “We’re going to have to extend the drive and set up collection sites in town for the people who couldn’t bring their donations today.”
Moran first heard about Crutches 4 Africa at the recent RI Convention in New Orleans. “I thought this is something we should bring back to the people of Dracut,” said Moran. Figuring that almost everyone has used crutches or walkers in their basement or garage, he presented the idea to the club.
“I thought it was a great idea,” said Club President Christine Mullen. “From there the Club just ran with it.” Acknowledging the work that the committee members put into the project she added, “everyone did a great job today.”
The Club had some willing partners in the effort. The Dracut High School National Business Honor Society took on the challenge with enthusiasm, according to Club Advisor Linda McHugh. “The students really appreciate the support they have received from Rotary and they wanted to give back. They voted unanimously to partner with Rotary at Old Home Day.” The students pitched right in, collecting donations, wrapping them and loading them on the truck for shipment to the Crutches 4 Africa project.
“Considering the response we got from the community, we’re definitely going to have to extend the drive with collection sites in town,” said committee member Sue Neary.
“This is now an ongoing world project for us,” she added.
“It makes us feel good to know they are going to someone who needs them,” said donors Roland and Maureen Toupin as they handed over a pair of crutches. That was the sentiment of everyone who brought their mobility devices to the Dracut Rotary Club booth at Old Home Day