Jerry Ferrell volunteers his time in The Caring Closet, assisting the durable medical equipment repair crew, affectionately known as “The Gang,” as they fix equipment and return it to service. In addition to his volunteer work, one of Jerry’s passions is fixing electric wheelchairs.
“I came across a wheelchair, and it needed repair,” said Jerry. “I researched the schematics, and through the internet, I learned that most of the problems associated with these chairs are electrical. That consists of batteries and fuses. To repair one, usually, the only thing it takes is replacing the batteries. I could find on the internet how to replace the battery, or how to find the location of the particular fuses. Some of the repairs that need to be done on wheelchairs that have some age on them, the parts replacement is expensive. It becomes cost-prohibitive. The wheelchair is not worth as much as the cost to repair it. I bought a couple more chairs through the internet, and repaired them and resold them.”
Jerry explained that some of the chairs are very expensive, but when individuals go to resell them, they lose value quickly. “They depreciate to the point that they are not worth repairing. I have also traded some chairs. I fixed one up and traded it with another gentleman who had one that he wanted to get rid of. I have been doing this for 17 or 18 years. It’s a hobby. It’s not an everyday thing, but I enjoy the work.”
“The last year or so, I decided I need to volunteer. I needed something to occupy my time. I am retired, and I just felt that being part of the community, I needed to volunteer in some capacity. And my wife is an employee here, and I know what Hospice & Community Care does. I experienced it through my father and brother-in-law, the goodness that hospice provides. I felt like it was a good cause.”
“The Gang” is a likeminded group of individuals who believe in giving back to the community. They meet monthly at The Caring Closet to repair any durable medical equipment in need of fixing. If you are interested in joining this amazing group of volunteers, please contact Hope Ruiz by calling 803-329-1500 or email her by clicking here. Potential volunteers do not need to be mechanically inclined or knowledgeable. They just need to be excited to be part of a fantastic group doing good work.