Wheelchair Clinic at Participation House
As part of its annual summer activities, for over the last 20 years, 16 members including 9 Sai Young Adults from the Sathya Sai Centre of Toronto-York volunteered at a Wheelchair Clinic at the Participation House in Markham, Ontario. Participation House strives to be a leader in enhancing the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, through provision of services based on individualized approaches, community involvement, and respect for human dignity. Residents being taken care of range from 20 to 86 years in age.
The volunteers meticulously clean wheelchairs with toothbrushes and rags to remove dried food, dirt, and debris from the wheels, frame, and seats. Additionally, motorized wheelchairs undergo mechanical servicing and tire maintenance. One resident expressed her gratitude and shared how the appearance of her wheelchair directly affects how people treat her, with her being treated as less of a person with a dirty wheelchair, making it difficult and uncomfortable to go out in public. With her wheelchair looking like new, the resident was excited to go out and re-embrace life, knowing she would be seen more as a person and less as someone with a disability.
The act of cleaning and maintaining the wheelchairs, for those unable to do so themselves, is a humbling experience, making one feel grateful for their blessings; seeing the joy of the residents is also quite fulfilling. With the some volunteers having participated since their childhood, this annual service activity will continue into the far future.