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Veteran's Need Transportation!

$17,515 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 106 people in 4 months
30001096_1528648168493036_r.jpeg

http://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/new-golf-carts-needed-to-help-transport-veterans-at-va-clinic/1227493533 




The Backstory

The Austin Veteran's Outpatient Clinic is a vast complex with more than 250 handicapped parking places in a designated handicapped parking lot the size of a football field. In total there are more than 1500 parking places.

The facility runs a 6 person golf cart driven by volunteers to help transport Veterans with mobility issues and their families, in some cases more than 200 yards. The current carts are older model vehicles which are frequently in and out of maintenance due to prolonged wear and tear along with age. When carts are out of service, Veterans must walk the distance to and from the building for their medical treatment often in the Texas summer heat.

“There have been times when I showed up for an appointment, only having to miss my appointment and return home, because there was no cart service that day and I was unable to walk the distance to the door.” 

-Larry, a patient at the Austin Veteran's Outpatient Clinic explains why the parking lot shuttle is important for his visits.  A 22-year Marine veteran who served in Vietnam and was awarded a Purple Heart, Larry suffers severe arthritis as a result of time spent as a POW during Vietnam.  He has recently had back surgery to alleviate some of this pain but is still waiting for staples to be removed.  As a former POW, Larry lives by the motto “We exist to help those who can’t help themselves,”  which is why he agreed to speak on behalf of the veterans who use the parking lot shuttle service.  “It’s not just me, if it wasn’t for the cart a lot of people might have to go home or walk that 100 yards very, very, slowly and painfully.’

30001096_1528648300680533_r.jpeg(Current cart - upholstery condition, flooring condition presents a tripping hazard)

Many of the Veterans are of advanced age - war Veterans from WWII, Vietnam and Korea - and still others suffer from injuries from service during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).


The Cost
The cost of a single electric cart begins at $15,000 but can run higher depending on added features (safety lights, inclement weather curtains).  It should be noted that funding for a new cart with a service plan is low on the priority list of items to be purchased by/for the clinic when compared to medical equipment.  The current carts were purchased as part of the construction of the new VA facility and there are no funds appropriated for the purchase of new carts.


How You Can Help
It is our hope that we can raise enough money to purchase at least one new electric cart with a local service plan and recruit volunteer drivers during this campaign.  Any amount you wish to donate is appreciated and will greatly assist us in our efforts to ease the lives of the men and women who've bravely and gallantly supported our freedom over the past decades.

As memorial day approaches, we thank you for your caring, concern and support of our country's Veterans.

Thank you, Kate and Rich
+ Read More
Hi Folks -
I wanted to send a quick update to let you know that a new 6 passenger golf cart for parking lot transportation at the VA has been purchased. The vehicle arrived on site last week and it is already in action at the Outpatient Clinic (photos soon!) We are hoping to get another vehicle with continued GoFundMe donations along with private donations that have come in to the VA independent of our efforts on this site.

Now that we have a fancy new cart on site, we need volunteer drivers! If anyone is interested in signing up to volunteer please reach out to Michael H. Wittrock
at 512-823-4525 X54525
Michael.Wittrock@va.gov

It is really rewarding to be able to give a little back to the men and women who have given so much to us! Thank you again for your generous support of our Veterans!
+ Read More
Hey Friends!
Thank you all so much for your contributions to this campaign. A status update: I’ve found a vendor who can supply the carts but I have been traveling and so has Rich. I expect to have a new vehicle at the facility by the early part of the August if not sooner!
+ Read More
After only three weeks of fundraising we have over $16,000. We are so close to our goal! We have begun reaching out to vendors who can supply the electric cart and should have some good quotes soon. We will be disbursing funds into an account in Kate's name in order to purchase the cart on behalf of all of you who have donated. The vehicle will be delivered directly to the Austin Outpatient Clinic by the vendor who will be paid by Kate's bank. Any excess beyond the cost of the vehicle and maintenance plan will be donated to the VA Clinic for upkeep of the new cart and perhaps the purchase of a second cart. Thank you again so much for your support. If you have interest in volunteering to drive please reach out and let us know!

Kate and Rich
+ Read More
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$17,515 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 106 people in 4 months
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