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Windfall of wheelchairs donated to local veterans

Denise Wong

Windfall of wheelchairs donated to local veterans

CREATED Jul. 19, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Inside a storage unit on Lake Mead Boulevard, there's an army of wheelchairs. They're ready to go to any local veteran who needs one.

Paul Martin is an Army veteran and the founder of Nevadans for Equal Access. He couldn't believe it when he got the call that he was getting 90 new wheelchairs to distribute to veterans.

His first thought?

"A miracle comes true," says Martin. "I was just telling our board of directors at our last meeting that we were running out of manual wheelchairs. to donate to folks in need."

The wheelchairs were assembled by people who aren't even from this area. A company called Myriad Genetics, based in Utah, held a meeting recently in Las Vegas. As part of a team-building exercise, its 400 employees put the wheelchairs together. They wanted to donate the wheelchairs to Las Vegas veterans.

Each one of the wheelchairs has a colorful card attached, thanking veterans for their service.

Seeing all of those wheelchairs sends a chill up Martin's spine. He's overwhelmed with emotions, knowing that there are so many people out there who are willing to do something like this to help our vets.

Now, he's making the rounds and driving to military organizations around town to let them know he's got something their vets need.

"As soon as he came up, it popped in my head there was a gentleman right down the street that needed it," says Deon Derby, the outreach coordinator for U.S. Vets.

Martin is also reaching out to organizations like the VFW, Catholic Charities, Disabled Veterans of America, Veteran's Housing, and Veteran's Village.

He says Nevadans for Equal Access usually gets one or two wheelchair donations at a time and they're usually used wheelchairs that have to be refurbished. He says this donation is a windfall and expects the wheelchairs to be snatched up within the next 30 days because there is such a need in our area.

Nevadans for Equal Access is a non-profit that relies on donations.

For more information, you can contact the organization by phone at (702) 399-5361 or by email at nvequalaccess.com. The group also has a Facebook page.

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