Kustom Ability aids Florida hurricane victims

Sunday, October 31, 2004

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. - After touring a neighboring community in August and viewing Hurricane Charley’s devastation first hand, Karl and Cheryl Thatcher knew they had to do something to help the storm’s victims. The owners of Kustom Ability just didn’t know what.

Then Karl got an idea.

“We gave out canes and used wheelchairs, but I still wished there was more that we could do,” he said. “Then I thought a better way would be to ask my vendor to help.”

In all, his two main vendors – Merits Health Products in Ft. Myers and Lifestyle Mobility in St. Petersburg - donated about $8,000 in manual wheelchairs and three-wheeled walkers.

“I was on 10 or 12 different radio stations telling people: ‘I have free product here. I’m not looking for anything back. We’ll even deliver within that area,’” he said.

To assure the product went to those truly in need, he stressed that it was intended for people who had lost equipment in the storm. In all, Kustom Ability delivered free equipment to 40 or 50 people.