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June 24, 2011 - 

With the great needs for food and medical supplies around the world, the need for wheelchairs seems to slip through the cracks. But not for Val Brummel.

Brummel, a member of First Christian Reformed Church in Hull, Iowa, has spent more than a decade working to meet that need. She is a ministry coordinator for Hope Haven.

“Missions are a huge part of my life,” she said. She has traveled to East Asia, Eastern Europe, and Central America, but most recently she traveled to Haiti to deliver refurbished wheelchairs to people still recovering from last year's earthquake.

The wheelchairs are donated by nursing homes and individuals. The chairs then get rebuilt in one of the many satellite shops around the country.

“Our biggest need is for children’s wheelchairs,” Brummel said. The need for pediatric chairs has grown to the point that Hope Haven has developed a chair of its own, specifically designed for smaller bodies.

Every trip allows the ministry to bring between 170 and 200 wheelchairs in addition to crutches, walkers, and commodes. Hope Haven’s most recent trip was to Vietnam.

In addition to the chairs, Hope Haven also brings therapists and wheelchair specialists to help fit patients with their new chairs, so they can sit comfortably and avoid life-threatening pressure sores.

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