Helping Hands, fire district, getting ready for holidays

Helping Hands, a division of the Sun City West Foundation, has many child-related items to loan at no cost to local residents. The demand is heavy near holidays. [Roger Ball/Independent Newsmedia]

Roger Ball
Independent Newsmedia

The upcoming holidays often bring visiting children to a retirement community—and homes that don’t normally have high chairs, cribs, strollers and other child related items that are needed for the visits.

Residents of Sun City West, Corte Bella, Arizona Traditions, Sun Village and Sun City Grand have the option to borrow these and other items at no cost for up to 30 days.

Helping Hands, a division of the Sun City West Foundation, is located at 14624 West RH Johnson Blvd and is open 8 a.m. to noon Monday – Friday.  It maintains an inventory of thousands of items

The materials are loaned at no charge, but Helping Hands relies heavily on donations to purchase, clean  and maintain their equipment. All equipment is cleaned, steamed and sanitized after each use.

Reservations are not taken by Helping Hands, and all loans operate on a first come-first serve basis.

“We get a lot of requests for items needed for small children, especially around the holidays, but our most requested item throughout the year is actually the foldaway cot,” said Karen Bertelsen, Helping Hands manager.

Medical equipment is the major part of the Helping Hands inventory and that equipment can be loaned for up to 90 days. Available items include walkers, canes, wheelchairs, toilet seats, crutches and other medical equipment that is often needed for short-term rehabilitation.

Patti Rowan, Sun City West Foundation executive director, said Helping Hands is just one part of the many services the organization offers.

“We offer free room use to non-profit organization serving our community, and rent banquet and meeting rooms to others,” she said.

The group offers other services.

“We also host a free AARP Tax-Aide, the Sun Health Resale Shop, free storage space for the American Legion’s Boulevard of Flags and an emergency generator for the Red Cross,” Ms. Rowan added.

The Sheriff’s Posse of Sun City West and the PRIDES warehouse and office space rent their space from the Foundation for $1 per year.

Child car safety seats are not available through Helping Hands. Residents in Sun City West, Corte Bella and other areas within the North County Fire & Medical District can reserve those seats through the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority, 18818 N. Spanish Garden Drive, just north of Camino del Sol, 623-544-5400.

Firefighter/EMT Josh Pechtel is shown installing child car safety seat at the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority headquarters.

A three-week advance reservation is needed for these seats.

An AFMA spokesman said the reservation is needed because a qualified, trained staff person must be available to properly install the child safety seat in the car and demonstrate its proper use.

“The community can be assured that a fully trained car seat technician has installed the proper seat for their loved one,” said Eric Kriwer, AFMA deputy chief. “The training is very comprehensive, and the car seats have very specific installation requirements to assure they are properly installed.”

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