Hope Haven West is a green project. We collect new and used wheelchairs destined for the landfill using a large network of volunteers. Since 2001, Davis Guest Homes, Hope Haven, Rotary District 5220 and local volunteers developed a collection site for discarded chairs in central California. Hope Haven West volunteers log thousands of miles annually picking up these discarded treasures.
Hundreds of volunteers—many of them senior citizens—invest their retirement years and their expertise and skill repairing and refurbishing used wheelchairs. They also craft new chair cushions, and sew wheelchair accessories. Volunteers of all ages load and unload trucks, clean and sort parts, and package wheelchairs.
Inmates in 17 federal prisons, mostly on the west coast, work refurbishing wheelchairs as part of vocational rehabilitation programs. They also produce a pediatric wheelchair and a tilt-in-space reclining wheelchair for children who require this therapeutic option. In addition, they produce chair components for Hope Haven's global and local repair centers. Why are men, many in prison for life, committed to this work? "We give them freedom...something many of us will never have," one inmate explains. "When we see the smiles on the children's faces, it makes us feel worthwhile." says another inmate.
KidChairs are designed by pediatric therapists and wheelchair manufacturers. The KidChair is built like a tank yet allows many adjustments to support children with mild to severe postural challenges. KidChairs are produced by chair-bound adults at Hope Haven's Guatemala factory, and by senior citizens in Hope Haven's workshop in Ireton, Iowa. The Guatemala factory originated with startup funds from matching grants through The Rotary Foundation.
Equipment is selected, adapted to both the recipient and their environment, and then adjusted as the child's needs change. Teams include physical and occupational therapists as well as rehabilitation technology suppliers. Distribution teams need many skills, including translators, medical professionals, photographers, clerks, organizers and people who are simply willing to reach out across cultures and languages with care and love.
Chairs are stored and prepared for distribution in 18,000 square feet of warehouse space at 1628 Nadine Avenue in Modesto. Volunteers are currently prepping wheelchairs for distribution in 2020. Volunteers are welcome to help out at the warehouse from Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm (or by arrangement). We welcome groups for tours - service groups, church groups, and vocational tours. Plan ahead and we will serve you lunch or breakfast. The warehouse is also available for social events