Cumberland County non-profit in desperate need of electric wheelchairs for veterans, citizens

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Operation Wheelchair, a Cumberland County non-profit, is in need of electric wheelchairs and scooters to meet the high demand.

Glenda Butterfly founded the non-profit with her husband, George, back in 2011 when they noticed veterans dealing with long wait times at the VA.

"There's no way we could allow them to wait 18 seconds, much less 18 months," Butterfly said.

After helping out their first veteran in need, it became a domino effect.

"So we gave it to him and then we gave it to another guy, and we were like 'what is this need?' You know, 'why is there a need,'" Butterfly said.

Since then, the couple has served hundreds of veterans and other residents in Cumberland County.

Despite George passing away in 2017, Glenda continues to follow their motto and "bridge the gap".

"We were united in everything, and I hope that he's proud," Butterfly said.

But the Fayetteville based organization has hit a roadblock. With only one working scooter and wheelchair left, they are in desperate need of donations to meet the demand.

"Helpless, you know, because that's not what we wanted to do. You know, we wanted to provide," Butterfly said.

Glenda and George's longtime friend, James Carpenter, has spent retirement working at Operation Wheelchair. He spends the week picking up donations and salvaging parts for cash.

"You see a smile on their face or a tear in their eye or whatever their reaction is. Ordinarily, you enjoy the heck out of that, at least I do," Carpenter said.

Along with applying for government grants and holding local fundraisers, Glenda hopes anyone able and willing can donate workable electric scooters and wheelchairs or even make a monetary donation.

"Any size, any age. You know, if it doesn't run, we can probably repair it," Butterfly said.

If you would like to make a donation or need assistance, you can contact Operation Wheelchair at (910) 391-1945 or contact them through Facebook.
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