The Villages Voice - August 2020

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VHA Helping Hands President's Message

by Bill Gottschalk

The VHA Helping Hands Inc.:   President’s Message

As I write this message, I look back at the Helping Hands mission: “To enhance the medical well-being and quality of life of the residents of The Villages by providing durable medical equipment as available, upon request, and at no cost to our residents”.  I see that mission as two parts; namely, what we can do for the residents, and what is best for the volunteers of our program.  With that in mind, we continue to make changes to meet the needs of both in these trying times.   Listed below are the changes we have put in place to better serve you, and keep our program open.
  • Based on the needs of our residents, the phone line remains open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily, Monday thru Friday. The equipment request line is (352) 973-2284.  Please leave a message if we fail to answer.  We will return your call.
  • Requested or returning equipment can be picked up or dropped off at our office Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
  • All returned equipment should remain outside the door until sanitized by office staff.
  • All residents and staff will have their temperature checked and must wear masks while conducting transactions.
I believe these simple procedures will keep both the residents and volunteers safe and our program open. With our growth over the past few years to more than 6,000 transactions this past year, storage and transportation have become major obstacles we struggle with daily.  We have over 600 pieces of equipment stored outside the Villages and need to transport equipment back and forth to our office daily.  We have always used our private vehicles for this transport as well as for transporting equipment to and from home-bound residents.  We have had to suspend home-bound services for the foreseeable future.  What we need to meet all our transportation needs is a cargo van so we rely less on our private vehicles. I am reaching out to you, the residents of The Villages, to meet that need.  If you are aware of a dealer or a local company upgrading their fleet, that might like to assist us, please let us know.  We are a not-for-profit corporation (501 c3) recognized by the laws of the state of Florida. In closing, we can always use more volunteers who might consider joining our team.  Give us a call at (352) 973-2284 or send an email to:  VHA.helpinghands@gmail.comGod bless, stay safe, and thanks for the opportunity to serve. Bill Gottschalk President The VHA Helping Hands, Inc.