Wheelchair with a hand on it

United Way 2-1-1 to the Rescue! Mike’s Story


United Way 2-1-1 to the Rescue! Mike’s Story
Mike’s father-in-law had an urgent need, and thanks to United Way 2-1-1, he was able to get it addressed.


Last year, Mike’s father-in-law, John, experienced a significant decline in health. So much so that he required a wheelchair to leave home. Unfortunately, his house contains several steps at each exit, making it difficult for him to go to doctor’s appointments or attend family functions safely.


John worked hard his entire life, and although he considered his life blessed and “rich” in many ways, he was not wealthy. Rather, he was a man of modest means, making ends meet on a limited fixed income comprised of hard-earned Social Security benefits coupled with a modest pension. He was also very proud of his status as a veteran of the United States Army, where he served during the Korean War in the 1950s.


John needed a wheelchair ramp. Unfortunately, the Veteran’s Administration (VA) can sometimes be a challenging organization to navigate, and the need was urgent. Mike asked his wife to put in a call to United Way 2-1-1 to see if they could assist her father in finding resources to help him acquire the ramp.


She made the call, and United Way 2-1-1 provided her with referrals to several agencies that could assist. Just a few phone calls later, an agency that specifically provides mobility services to veterans agreed to go to John’s house to evaluate his needs.


The end result? John qualified for an ADA compliant wheelchair ramp AND a brand new, safer wheelchair with a pressure-relieving seat cushion – all at no charge because of his past service to our country.


United Way 2-1-1 is the service that makes these kinds of stories possible. By connecting people in need with the services that improve their lives, United Way helps people live their lives with greater mobility, meaning, and dignity.


“John is unfortunately no longer with us; he passed a short time ago. But the last months of his life were demonstrably better because of United Way of Greater St. Louis and United Way 2-1-1. There are thousands more stories like mine each year where success is made possible because of the generosity of so many. Thank you!” – Mike


If you or someone you know needs help, contact 2-1-1 by calling or texting 1-800-427-4626 or visiting 211helps.org, where you can utilize an online chat, search directory or mobile app.

James Taylor
James Taylor