Valdosta’s Salvation Army donates motorized wheelchair to homeless veteran

Valdosta’s Salvation Army donates motorized wheelchair to homeless veteran

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The Salvation Army has been working around the clock to help those in need during the pandemic.

They recently surprised a veteran with a much needed motorized wheelchair.

Bernard Arnold lost his leg because of diabetes and thanks to the Salvation Army of Valdosta, he is now enjoying his new motorized wheelchair.
Bernard Arnold lost his leg because of diabetes and thanks to the Salvation Army of Valdosta, he is now enjoying his new motorized wheelchair. (Source: WALB)

Bernard Arnold lost his leg because of diabetes and thanks to the Salvation Army of Valdosta, he is now enjoying his new motorized wheelchair.

“He was just so excited and overjoyed, so much that he went riding no sooner than he got it. We are excited to be able to be the hands and feet and be able to make his life a little bit easier,” said Chris Thomas, commanding officer at the Salvation Army.

Thomas said he met Arnold when he visited the organization’s food pantry. They learned he was homeless and his wheelchair needed repairs.

The organization was able to fix it up. But soon after, that wheelchair wore out.

Thomas said they searched for a new one and found one on Craigslist. After the seller learned about Arnold’s story, they donated it.

But, after moving all around town with it, eventually, that wheelchair started to come undone.

Bernard Arnold talking with the Salvation Army about his new motorized wheelchair.
Bernard Arnold talking with the Salvation Army about his new motorized wheelchair. (Source: WALB)

“The fact that he is able to get this motorized scooter that he can get around town and get to the places where he needs to be. It’s one of those overjoyed situations to know that life has been rough but it doesn’t have to be as rough now,” said Thomas.

Thomas said Arnold is in a program where a room has been provided for him so he is off the streets.

But now, he’s further away from the places he needs to get to, so he needed a motorized wheelchair.

Thomas said the new chair was donated to them. Arnold went riding around as soon as he got it.

“I feel to the grace of God, there’s a lot of people out there that can help you and won’t. But I know they will, so I go to them every time I go to town. I go by there, see what they got. If they can do anything for me and I always get a smile. Showing that there’s love out there you know,” said Arnold.

Arnold said the organization keeps him happy and moving forward.

Thomas said he’s grateful to have Arnold around. He’s always ready to help the organization whether it’s simply by taking out the trash or helping around the lawn.

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