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Catholics Set to Help Africans in Need By Collecting Crutches, Canes in Saco Area

Most Holy Trinity Church located on 271 Main Street in Saco has arranged a large collection box in its lobby to help Africans in need of mobility devices.

Once the box is filled with crutches, canes, and wheelchairs meant to help fill the hearts and needs of Africans without access to reliable mobility devices will be given to some beneficiaries.

“Once our boxes are filled, we can call Saco Rotary to come and empty them so new donations can be placed inside,” said Bonnie Buechs, social justice chairperson for Good Shepherd Parish, of which Most Holy Trinity Church is a part.

This initiative is part of Good Shepherd Parish’s support of “Crutches 4 Africa. The organization has collected, shipped and distributed over 160,000 mobility devices to more than 20 African countries.

“While in Uganda in 2005, I saw people who had survived the disease of polio. Often, they are rejected in their communities. I realized that many people have a lightly-used mobility device they no longer need from a twisted ankle, ski accident, or operation. I saw crutches at garage sales, in dumpsters, and, unfortunately, in containers headed to landfills. I knew that I had to do something,” said Dave Talbot, founder of “Crutches 4 Africa.

According to Buechs, the initiative has seen swift response from plenty of benevolent groups across the country with support for the cause. The Good Shepherd Parish has continually encouraged donations from parishioners and community members in Saco, Biddeford, Lyman, and Old Orchard Beach. This year’s collection will run through the month of September.

“We’ve done this for many years. Their mission is to deliver mobility devices and distribute them for free regardless of a person’s race, gender, tribe, age, or religion. This project makes a huge difference for so many people and we are glad to offer a little helping hand,” said Buechs.

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