Pawn shops to donate wheelchairs this holiday season - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Pawn shops to donate wheelchairs this holiday season

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NORWICH, CT (WFSB) -

A pawn shop in eastern Connecticut is giving back this holiday season.

A to Z Pawn in Norwich has been collecting dozens of electric wheelchairs, refurbishing them for the past years, and now they're looking forward to giving them away.

Robert Palmer, 48, is inflicted with a rare form of osteoporosis, which is brittle bone disease. The electric-powered chairs have become his legs.

"I don't like to stay in one place," he said.

Palmer's fiancee, Karen Sherwood, said, "Nothing holds him down."

"It's awesome, we go for a walk," she said.

As a matter of fact, Palmer's worn out the tires on his old chair.

The program's sponsor, Phil Pavone, has teamed up with our radio partners in Norwich in hopes of getting someone a gift of mobility.

"These are between $4,000 to $6,000 each, but there are a couple of specialty chairs here that are about $9,000 and $15,000, and it puts it way out of the reach of anyone that doesn't have any insurance," Pavone said.

Pavone's "Gift of Mobility" program, which is working with the Hall Radio Group Kool 101, will give away some 20 refurbished chairs this Christmas season. All he asks is that you or someone write a letter to him expressing your need for a chair.

"It's really hard to decide," Pavone said. "A lot of these chairs are specific to people's needs."

Palmer cannot wait to get his new chair.

"Yeah, I go everywhere, try to get around as much as I can," he said. "I call myself the mayor of Westerly."

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