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Catholics Collecting Crutches and Canes in Biddeford and Saco Area to Help Africans in Need

SACO---Boxes in the narthexes of the churches of Good Shepherd Parish will continue to fill with crutches, canes, and wheelchairs, all to help fill the hearts and needs of Africans without access to reliable mobility devices.

“Once our boxes are filled, we can call Dan Robillard of Saco Rotary, who is also a parishioner, to come and empty them so new donations can be placed inside,” said Bonnie Buechs, social justice chairperson for Good Shepherd Parish in Saco.

The process is part of Good Shepherd Parish’s support of “Crutches 4 Africa,” an organization that has collected, shipped, and distributed over 120,000 mobility devices to 19 African countries.

“While in Uganda in 2005, I saw people who had survived the disease of polio. Often, they are rejected in their communities,” said Dave Talbot, founder of “Crutches 4 Africa.” “I realized that many people have a lightly-used mobility device they no longer need from a twisted ankle, ski accident, or operation. I saw crutches at garage sales, in dumpsters and, unfortunately, in containers headed to landfills. I knew that I had to do something.”

“Crutches 4 Africa” was born, and plenty of benevolent groups across the country were quick to respond with support for the cause, including Good Shepherd Parish.

“We’ve done this for many years,” said Buechs. “Their mission is to deliver the mobility devices and distribute them for free regardless of a person’s race, gender, tribe, age, or religion. This project makes a huge difference for so many people and we are glad to offer a little helping hand.”

The four churches with donation boxes for crutches, canes, or wheelchairs are:

Most Holy Trinity Church, 271 Main Street, Saco
St. Joseph Church, 178 Elm Street, Biddeford
St. Philip Church, 404 Goodwins Mills Road, Lyman
St. Margaret Church, 6 Saco Avenue, Old Orchard Beach

For more information, contact Good Shepherd Parish at (207) 282-3321.