DARIEN, Conn. – Many of us take our mobility for granted. Kim Babcock does not.
Lack of mobility is not a personal hardship, but one she sees every day. Working with the elderly through Right at Home , a Darien-based business that provides services to keep the elderly safely at home, Babcock has seen how lack of independence can devastate an individual.
As a Girl Scout leader in Easton for 13 years as well as a school and church volunteer, Babcock has been involved in charity and volunteer work for a long time. When the corporate office of Right at Home introduced its national partnership with the organization Free Wheelchair Mission at an annual meeting, Babcock knew she had to get involved in the week-long mission to bring wheelchairs to those in need.
The Free Wheelchair Mission, a faith-based nonprofit that provides the disabled in developing countries with free wheelchairs, had already chosen Costa Rica when Babcock signed on.
“We were able to touch so many lives by giving recipients the gift of mobility,” said Babcock.
Right at Home, which she runs with her husband, David, delivered over 600 wheelchairs. Of those Babcock personally delivered between 30 to 35 directly to people’s homes in Costa Rica.
“We learned the story of each recipient and learned that so many of these people were not able to leave their homes,” she said.
“Many spent their days on the porch or on a chair in the house because it was too hard for family members to move them beyond that.”
One of the more memorable gifts, according to Babcock, was to Jose Leon, 80, of Corralellos de Filedelphia. Leon suffered a stroke five years ago, which left him with no control of his lower body. Weekly hospital visits were only possible because his 15-year-old grandson would carry him there. Now, with a wheelchair all that is easier for Leon and his family.
“Each and every recipient was so thankful,” said Babcock. “This was truly an incredible trip for me. I feel so blessed to have been part of it.”
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