Community Stories

Wheelchair Wash Connects Hearts and Boosts Confidence

May 7, 2024

Park Ridge wheelchair wash

Sometimes, the key to happiness is shiny wheels and simple conversation.

On April 13, members of Parkridge Church teamed up with Heart2Heart to host a wheelchair and walker wash at Park Summit Senior Living in Coral Springs. 

Seniors at the care facility sat and chatted with Parkridge families of all ages as the community members washed the seniors’ walkers and wheelchairs. 

“The residents come down and line up just like a car wash,” said Parkridge member Jacqueline Jimenez of Coral Springs. “We have music going and have a great time.”

This is the second year Parkridge and Heart2Heart have hosted this event. Jacqueline said they were worried this year because it was a cooler day, but they managed to find a single sliver of sunshine.

“We put chairs in the sun and it was like they were all at the beach. It was beautiful.” Jacqueline said.

The youngest helper was 2 years old, and ages ranged from children, pre-teens and teenagers, all the way up to people in their 50s and 60s. The seniors especially loved seeing all the children, Jacqueline said.

“They love to see the little kids because they don’t get to see a lot of kids,” Jacqueline said. 

The little 2-year-old had a wonderful time, copying all the motions that the big people did, she said. It brought the seniors so much joy to see that.

Daryl Brown, Adults and Missions Pastor at Parkridge, said that this was just one way that the church participated in its annual Serve the City event.

“We encourage our people to go out and connect with different ministry partners and help the community to flex our service muscles,” Pastor Brown said. “We love that Heart2Heart is one of those partnerships.”

The church members carefully cleaned the walkers and wheelchairs with soap and water, gently wiping down areas that are sensitive to moisture, Jacqueline said. 

“It’s something most people don’t think about,” Jacqueline said. “They use their walkers every day, and maybe something gets on the handle. You could really notice a difference after we finished cleaning them. It stood out. The wheels were really shiny, and they looked good as new. It gave them a boost of self-esteem, and it was something they bragged about all day.”

As a finishing touch, the volunteers tied a ribbon on each walker or wheelchair that also had a Bible verse on it. So when other residents would run into them in the halls, they’d see the ribbon and ask about it, which is an opportunity to share the Scripture, she said.

The seniors walked away with shiny equipment, but they also had an opportunity to connect with other humans and feel seen.

“I think it’s a simple and unique way to build relationships and have time together,” Pastor Brown said. “The residents loved telling stories, and our people loved getting to connect with them, so it was very well received from the residents as well as our volunteers.”

Explore ways that you or your church can make a difference in seniors’ lives. To arrange a group serve event, call the Heart2Heart office at 954-315-2218. 

Join the Team!

Becoming a Heart2Heart volunteer means that you are dedicated to serving the aging community. It means you want to connect in a meaningful way to a specific individual or to several people. It means you are committed to a consistent amount of time per month – whether that’s several hours a week or just a few hours per month.

Heart2Heart volunteers must be background checked and trained. Our training can be completed from your home on your computer or device, through the online Volunteer Portal. We run fingerprints in our office in Fort Lauderdale, and you can schedule an appointment with us after you finish the training.

The first step is to create an account on our Volunteer Portal. To get started, click here!

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