Connecticut pawn shop owner Philip Pavone was clearing space for new inventory back in 2009 when he found some motorized wheelchairs that hadn’t sold. To free space, he put an ad in his local paper, offering them for free. After getting over 60 letters in two weeks, he saw the scale of the problem and decided to help.
Many of the letters were from folks whose insurance wouldn’t cover the cost of a motorized wheelchair and some people told him they hadn’t left their house for months or even years because they didn’t have one. So he started buying and repairing used wheelchairs to give away, then he started asking for any unused or broken wheelchairs he could fix and donate and that’s whenAZ Pawn’s Gift of Mobilitywas born.
Now Pavone holds an annual event during the holiday season where he gives away 100 chairs in a single day and over the years, he’s donated 580 to those in need. “I know we’re making a difference, he says. “These chairs offer a way for people to live an independent life.”
If you would like to find out more or contribute, check out hisGoFundMe campaign here.
Here's a video from 2017 when people were receiving their motorized wheelchairs.