Stolen Handicap Van Replaced By High School Pals, AMS Vans, Others
Jan 02, 2013
Kevin Riggs’ custom-lift handicap van was only two months old when it was stolen in front of his Avondale, GA apartment on May 6, 2012. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Kevin, who’s living with cerebral palsy, got another van, thanks to his high school buddy from Henderson High School’s Class of ’81.
When Roger Sawhill of UnParalleled, LLC saw the story about his classmate’s stolen van on local TV, he was spurred to action and put the word out on Facebook, Twitter, email, and every other means of communication available to rally his Class of ’81, along with anyone else who shared his outrage, to do whatever it would take to right this wrong.
Roger’s call to action read:
Let’s Replace Kevin Riggs Stolen Lift Van!
On May 6th, Kevin Riggs’ two-month-old custom lift van was stolen in front of his apartment in Avondale, GA. A sufferer of cerebral palsy, Kevin purchased the van with money he saved from his long term employer, Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC). We are appalled at this theft and how it has impacted our friend’s independence and quality of life.
The good news is that the Henderson High School Class of 1981, of which Kevin is a member, has organized a fund-raiser to help him out. Kevin’s employer, FODAC, is facilitating the fundraiser by being a conduit for the donations. Since FODAC is a 503(c) non-profit organization all donations are tax-deductible, and all money submitted will be earmarked for Kevin’s needs.
Our target is $19,000. This will allow the purchase of a used van (Chevy Suburban or similar) equipped with a lift ramp, lowered deck and an “easy lock” system for securing his wheelchair. If we raise more than our target amount any extra funds will be used to purchase other items Kevin may need. $19,000 is a lot of money, and this is a tough economy, but if we can get 950 people to give just $20 each, we will easily meet our goal.
Please spread the word over Facebook, Twitter, throughout your company, via email, and any other way you can. Here’s the WSB TV news story on the theft of Kevin’s van.
After six months of fundraising, a $3,000 grant from the Braun Foundation, a contribution from FODAC, a $6,000 discount on the cost of the wheelchair van and a $1,350 EZ Lock wheelchair docking system compliments of AMS Vans, Kevin–without spending a penny of his own money–is back on the road in an AMS Van customized for his needs! His classmates, their families, and friends collected almost $13,000 to replace the stolen van with a Dodge Caravan Sport equipped with a side-entry wheelchair accessible ramp that lets Kevin and his power chair enter and exit his new handicap van with ease.
On November 27, Kevin and Chris Brand, president and executive director of FODAC, came to AMS Vans’ headquarters to pick up the van, and a TV camera was there to capture the happy ending!
Here’s the news story, courtesy of WSB-TV:
And here’s “The Making Of” the news story: