• Courtesy photo

    Gervais Ford in Ayer serves as one of four dropoff sites for The Rotary Club''s Crutches Recycling Project.

  • Courtesy photo

    The Rotary Club has four new drop-off centers for the donation of unwanted crutches, folding walkers and canes. One site is Clear Path for Veterans New England at Devens.

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Responding to enthusiasm from the community, the Rotary Club has expanded its Crutches Recycling Project by adding four drop-off locations to collect unwanted crutches, folding walkers, and canes. The donated mobility aids will be shipped to developing nations and given to people living with disabilities.

The drop-off locations are Gervais Ford and Jack O’Lantern Liquors in Ayer, Clear Path for Veterans New England on Devens, and the Office of Dr. Jeffrey G. Resnick, DPM, in Harvard. The business hours and addresses for the drop-off locations are available on www.ayerrotary.com, the website of the Rotary Club of Ayer, Harvard, Shirley and Devens.

“Across the globe, countless people live with physical disabilities and no access to mobility aids like crutches and walkers. Meanwhile, in closets, attics and garages across our area, these items sit unused because people don’t know what to do with them. The Rotary Club wants to be the link between your unwanted crutches and people who desperately need them,” said Joan Pena, President for the 2019-2020 year.

The Crutches Recycling Project accepts crutches, canes, folding walkers only, wheelchairs and orthopedic boots. The items should be in good working condition. Donors are asked to visit drop-off centers only during the business hours, to leave the items in the specially marked bins or with an employee, and never leave items outside. Anyone with more than five items should email AyerRotary@gmail.com to make arrangements.

Since launching the Crutches Recycling Project last December, Rotary has collected nearly 500 pieces for reuse. The club has collected items on special drop-off days and from individuals with large quantities of crutches and walkers, such as a physical therapist and a senior center. By having drop-off locations, the club wants to make it convenient to donate rather than waiting for designated collection days, said Pena.

The Rotary Club runs the Ramps to Freedom Project, which builds handicapped ramps at no charge for housebound people in the area. The club is also known for charitable donations, and the Dictionary Project which gives a dictionary to every third-grader in the area.

The Rotary Club is comprised of business professionals who live or work in the Ayer, Harvard, Shirley and Devens area and who are interested in community service both locally and internationally. The club meets every Thursday, at 6:30 p.m. at the Bull Run Restaurant. For more information, contact ayerrotary@gmail.com.