Police Department and Rotary Club Donate Wheelchairs to Individuals with Mobility Issues
Four people with mobility issues received a donation of wheelchairs today through a collaboration between the Belize Police Department and the Rotary Club of Belize. The wheelchairs form a part of a larger donation that the Wheelchair Foundation in the US handed over to the Rotary Club last week. Rotarian Douglas Hyde, the Police Department’s National Youth Program Coordinator, explained that the department’s Community Policing Unit identified the recipient.
Douglas Hyde, Rotarian: “We’ve reached out to police officers who work in these communities, these different neighborhoods who know people who need wheelchairs who are disabled and cannot move around and so they have reached back out to me in terms to say “Mr.Hyde we need a couple wheelchairs here and there.” and so that’s the work I have been doing since last week and today as a good deed for the Christmas season. It’s a good feeling from the recipients. They came two from Ladyville community itself, one from Caye Caulker and one from down south and it was a great feeling seeing these people in terms of their receiving their wheelchair. It was more an excitement to them because again wheelchairs are very hard to get and of course it has it’s own costs and what we’ve done is to change some of the dynamics of these wheelchairs they’re not just wheelchairs that you can use just internally you can use them externally too. It can adjust to the user’s and stuff like that so it’s really a good investment, it is strong enough and it will last for years. You know working in the department for years I have also had the relationship with the different units and community policing is one of our units that works on a day to day basis in these different communities. So it’s just to reach out to them and send out the message to say hear what we have some wheelchairs can we identify people who really need it and people who would definitely deserve it and so the response was great. We had Superintendent Denroy Barrow who is the OC in Ladyville he reached out to me to say he wanted a couple of them. We had the different NCOs who are at the different villages and they reached out likewise. It’s also assisting the police officers, this is how we build relationships with the communities and things like these where we assist people in their needs goes a long way and that’s what policing is all about. It’s not just handcuffing and charging people but finding ways to build that relationship and helping people in their time of need.”
On December 15, the Rotary Club received over two hundred wheelchairs, which will be distributed through its 11 clubs countrywide. The wheelchairs have an estimated value of over a hundred thousand Belize dollars.