On the outskirts of Redding, CA, there lives a woman named Joni Rowe. At first glance, she is your typical sweet old lady. She has short curly red hair and has lived by herself since her husband passed in ’97. In her life, she has survived cancer and polio. That in itself is a great story, but it is not what makes Joni truly remarkable.
What sets Joni Rowe apart is the constantly changing stockpile of wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, and more.
Living to Give
Though she isn’t sure how it got started, Joni gets much of her recycled medical equipment from people who have passed on. From this constant flow of equipment, Joni gives to those who are unable to afford piling medical costs.
Her manner of operation is a bit old fashioned. She sits at her kitchen table with an incredibly large spiral note book and a collection of pens, and keeps track of endless people, phone numbers, and needs. When she is able to help someone, she grabs her phone and gives them a call.
No internet. No email. She says she doesn’t have time to bother.
These technical limitations haven’t managed to slow her down so far. When an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010, Rowe donated over 100 pieces of equipment to a relief group. Despite relying on a walker herself, she physically picks up and delivers equipment in her van.
And when she isn’t getting people the medical equipment they can’t live without, Rowe works at a local thrift store and chairs at Shasta Regional Medical Center.
Shining a Light
Rollx Vans loves to put the spotlight on people who go out of their way to help those with disabilities. If you know of anyone going above and beyond the call, please let us know. Otherwise, enjoy this video of Joni Rowe, courtesy of Redding.com.