VETERANS HELPING VETERANS

PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK)
We're all guilty of taking things for granted once in awhile, especially things we do almost without thinking, like getting dressed, or even breathing, but what about walking?
A local Vietnam veteran knows how much of a challenge getting around can be and he's pledged to make it easier for others.
Veteran Don Yarbrough says not having enough money should never be the reason someone goes without  having something they really need.
As a result of this philosophy, he's giving new meaning to the phrase, one man's trash is another man's treasure.'
Yarbrough makes power chairs and scooters for disabled veterans. "Just to go to the store, it's a big deal to people." he said. 
Yarbrough, also disabled, said he understands how difficult getting around can be. "I have a condition called immersion foot and I wear prosthetics.  I can walk but it's limited." explained the veteran.
He has his own scooter and it's assisted him for the greater part of his life.  "I've had a scooter for almost 35 years that the VA's provided for me and I'm so grateful for it. It's important to be mobile when you're disabled"
But Yarbrough explains not everyone is as fortunate as him, and often go years without leaving their homes or experiencing the fullest quality of life due to lack of resources.
So Yarbrough's second philosophy, boils down to something simple, money shouldn't block mobility. "A lot of times people can't afford them, but that's not for me to decide." 
As Yarbrough walked through his shed, complete with organized tools, various scooters, mismatched parts, batteries and anything you can think of, he proudly explained that everything in his possession was donated. 
Many of the parts that become vital pieces of a new scooter or power chair were just laying around someone's home. The finished product, a conglomerate of unique, newly painted, spruced up, and charged parts are what Yarbrough called, 'The Dream."
Yarbrough makes chairs for children, people who may have a little extra weight on them, and of course, disabled vets.
He said that while his first priority is making sure fellow veterans receive the chairs, he could never turn his back on folks who need the chairs just as much.
The scooters and power chairs range in value, anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 and he gives them away for free. 
"It just tears me up sometimes to see the reaction people have." Yarbrough described through a warm smile. 
Making the power chairs is his passion and he spends every day working on them. "I look forward every morning to getting down to my workshop and getting at it." he beamed.
With the support of his wife, Yarbrough's foundation, "Veterans Helping Veterans" , has given away more than 359 free power chairs to disabled vets, elderly men, women and children.                                                        
Monetary donations go towards the purchase of new batteries and parts for the power chairs and scooters.
We know the importance of mobility,  your help will make someones dream come true.

Donations ()

  • Melvin Babb 
    • $95 
    • 4 d
  • Chris Flynn 
    • $2,500 
    • 4 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 1 mo
  • Katie Didiuk 
    • $100 
    • 5 mos
  • Jeanette Redshaw 
    • $50 
    • 6 mos
See all

Organizer

Donald Yarbrough 
Organizer
Peoria, IL
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