The spirit of Christmas is growing in eastern Connecticut, thanks to the generosity of one man who doesn’t want motorized wheelchairs to sit idle.
When A to Z Pawn started the Gift of Mobility program six years ago, they gave away six chairs in that first year. This year they will give away more than 60.
Each year, for the past six years, those with disabilities or loved ones write letters to Phil Pavone, owner of A to Z Pawn, who started Gift of Mobility.
He takes gently used battery powered wheelchairs, fixes them up, and gives them to those can’t afford them or are not eligible through government programs.
"A lot of these people cannot walk at all. Just to show you the degree of difficulty here, that book over there is the 65 people I can help. There's 100 letters in here and all these people are equally suffering,” Pavone said.
Since 2009, Pavone has given away more than 300 motorized wheelchairs.
"For some reasons, these people fall through the cracks. I have no idea why. Some are still working. It’s hard to imagine some are amputees and they're not qualified for a chair. How can you not be qualified for a chair,” Pavone said.
All the mobilized chairs are spoken for and the actual giving of the gifts and the recipients will take place at the Holiday Inn in Norwich on Sunday morning.
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