Receptionist and telephone operator at the Ministry of Transport and Works, Avis Chuck, was all smiles and exuberance on Thursday (August 21), when she received a new motorised wheelchair, courtesy of the Jamaica Visionaries Association of Canada.
“I feel glad, I feel good; great,” Miss Chuck uttered, during the brief handing over ceremony at the Ministry’s Maxfield Avenue office, Kingston.
After securing herself with the seatbelt, Miss Chuck tested out the device, driving it around the conference room, much to the delight of her colleagues gathered for the event.
A member of staff at the Ministry for the past 14 years, Miss Chuck told JIS News that she was grateful for the gift. She said the new chair will help her to move around easier with the mere touch of a button, making her work much more manageable.
Receptionist and Telephone Operator at the Ministry of Transport and Works, Avis Chuck (left) speaking with Founding President of the Jamaica Visionaries Association, Del Cunningham-Chambers. The Association donated the new motorised wheelchair being used by Miss Chuck during a ceremony at the Ministry’s Maxfield Avenue location in Kingston on Thursday (August 20).
“(It will) ease the pressure off (my) hands, because I cannot move that fast. I appreciate it because just touching the button, I will go faster,” she said.
Born with a deformity of the hands and legs,’Chucky’, as she is affectionately known by co-workers, does not let her disability hamper her ability to carry out her duties.
Coupled with her physical challenges, she has had several accidents, including one which resulted in a head injury. Her most recent injury was suffering a broken leg in October, 2007. Prior to that accident, Miss Chuck was able to walk, but has since had to rely on a manual wheelchair for mobility. Operating the manual chair, has however, taken a toll on her, as she often experiences pain in her shoulders and hands.
Donation of the motorised wheelchair was made possible through the efforts of Acting Senior Director for Human Resource Management and Administration in the Department of Local Government, Annette Osbourne, who requested it from the Jamaica Visionaries Association.
Jamaica Visionaries Association, Inc. is a non-profit organisation registered in Canada. It was founded 14 years ago by Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica to assist the island’s healthcare and educational facilities.
Founding President, Del Cunningham-Chambers, said she was proud to “make this happiness come true” for Miss Chuck.
She explained that the Association has been making donations of medical supplies and equipment to several parishes. She noted that it was while she was in Jamaica with a delivery last year that she was asked for a wheelchair. She told JIS News that there are plans to make several other donations.
“We have on the wharf a 45-foot container (with) medical supplies for a golden age home and the KPH Hospital,” she said.
The Association has also made a donation of C$9,000 to the Foundation for International Self Help Development (F.I.S.H.), a charity located in the Papine area of Kingston, towards equipment and its Patients Aid fund.
Describing herself as “a Jamaican that has decided to give back to Jamaica,” Mrs. Cunningham-Chambers says she feels proud when she walks into institutions where the difference that her efforts have made can be seen.
She says that her Association’s reach has now extended to other Caribbean islands.