David Carroll is accustomed to helping others. As the HELPs Workshop Technician, it’s his job to replace wheels on wheelchairs, refurbish bath benches and more. In 2016 he helped more than 5000 people throughout 23 counties receive free medical equipment through Goodwill.

So it was quite a surprise for David recently when the tables were turned, and he was the one on the receiving end of help – thanks to some people he has assisted many times throughout his Goodwill employment.

David, who himself uses a wheelchair, was having vehicle problems. The lift ramp of his specially-equipped 2006 GMC van was malfunctioning. The van was in the shop. And the repair bill was sure to be a whopper.

Physical and occupational therapists often make use of HELPs’ services for their own clients’ needs. HELPs has no income or insurance requirements regarding assistance and, for people on a fixed income, the free equipment is a huge benefit.  In fact, the Goodwill durable medical equipment program – now almost 20 years old – was inspired by suggestions from area physical therapists.

Dalton’s Hamilton Home Health Occupational Therapist Jason Lacy caught wind of David’s situation and called upon his peers. Together the group pooled their resources and headed for MobilityWorks, a Chattanooga area wheelchair accessible van provider. There, the therapists paid most of David’s repair bill – anonymously.

David arrived the next day to pick up his van and was taken aback when he was told the bill had all but been paid for. That’s some wonderful help!