Coshocton County Handicapped Society celebrates 30th anniversary

| October 28, 2020

Tim and Candy Angle hold a proclamation congratulating the Coshocton County Handicapped Society on its 30th anniversary. (Jen Jones)

In 1970, Bud Fortune and Duane Beck saw a need in Coshocton County.  Their vision of a place to help those who need it most is still going strong today. The Coshocton County Handicapped Society is celebrating 30 years of “People Helping People.”

Candy Angle, president of the Handicapped Society, said that a big part of the reason they are still here is the community support they get.  “People in the community, hospitals, nursing homes – they all donated unused medical equipment to us. We clean it up, refurbish it and loan it out for six months to people. If they need it longer than six months, all they have to do is come in and talk to us and they can use it longer.”

Everything the society does is by volunteers and donations. “I finally applied for a Coshocton Foundation grant and we have gotten a few of those,” said Candy. “We are using that money to install aluminum ramps for people instead of wooden ones.”

For anyone needing a ramp, Candy said they need to come into the office (by appointment only right now) and fill out an application. They have a man who will come to your house and assess what needs to be done and the Handicapped Society will provide the labor and materials for the ramp. This is based on HUD income requirements.  “It usually takes about three weeks to get a ramp built,” said Candy.

The Handicapped Society has built 11 ramps this year, repaired three, tore down three and there are three applications pending.

They also offer every kind of medical supply you can think of from band-aids and hospital beds, canes and walkers, potty and shower chairs to wheelchairs. Air conditioners are sometimes available, too. If someone passes away, the equipment is often returned to be made ready for another person in need. A script from a doctor is needed for either a ramp or an air conditioner.

“I’ve reached out to schools for groups that want community service hours. We’ve had groups come in to clean and organize for us.  Hopewell School brought some staff over to paint for us and AK helps often, too,” said Candy.

“We had some graffiti painted on our building twice and both times, Steve Oster from the Coshocton County Board of DD had guys come over to clean it up and Johnson Plumbing donated paint. We just can’t thank the community enough for what they do for us.”

Tim Angle, a trustee with the group, said that the William Albert Company clears their parking lot of snow so they never have to worry about that. “And Litty’s brought in a dumpster for us when we had a big cleaning day. They scraped everything that they could and gave us the money. They just help out however they can and we really appreciate it.”

“I’ve come in at 9 at night to get a piece of equipment for someone. We get a lot of calls from people who are getting out of the hospital or a  nursing home and we do our best to get the things they need to them so they can be safe,” Tim said.

“The community has really been outstanding for us.  There are so many good people in this community,” said Tim.

Candy said she networks with other non-profit agencies, such as the United Way, to get the word out about their services and to help other agencies. “People Helping People gets the job done.” She also said she watches Facebook for people in need.

“The lady that stopped this morning didn’t know how she was going to get upstairs in her new home. I just saw her post on Facebook and we had what she needed and she made a donation and picked it up. She didn’t know where to turn, but we can help. This is what makes our day.”

The Handicapped Society is always in need of more volunteers and people to serve on their seven member board. If you want more information about donating items or money, volunteering or being a member, call 843-855-1908.

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