Category Archives: Repairs on Wheels

Urgent Need: Help Ms. Thelma

Ms. Thelma calls every Friday to ask if we have raised enough money to begin work on her house.

Please help us say “Yes” this Friday by donating to the Friends of Thelma Fund.

Volunteers of America GThelma150reater New Orleans wants to help retired New Orleans nurse Thelma Hines.  A truck smashed into the front of her home, after the driver was shot and killed; she has no means to repair it. Watch WWL-TV reporter Bill Capo’s feature on Miss Thelma.

“The truck came through there, two feet from me,” she said. “I thought that it was a tornado coming through, really, because it sounded like a train.”

Payne Diez, who manages the Volunteers of America Repairs on Wheels program assessed the damage. “Had the truck hit 24 inches over, it would have struck her in her bed,” said Diez. “It was a miracle.”

The Repairs on Wheels program is ready to help, but faces a major problem. We need funding help for this project.  It will cost approximately $8,000 to repair Ms. Thelma’s house and we do not have a grant to do this work in Orleans Parish.  So, Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans is looking to the community to come together and donate towards this project.

When asked how it felt to have people trying to help her, Ms. Thelma said, “It means so much. It means that I meant something, I touched some people’s lives.”

Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans has started a fund – Friends of Thelma – to raise the monies needed to repair Ms. Thelma’s home. To date we have only raised $225, even with Bill Capo’s report.  So, we are turning to you, our friends in the community, to ask you to consider giving.

Please Help Miss Thelma With Your Gift


Repairs on Wheels Consumer Gets Mobile

Meet Mr. Fred Harper (pictured), who recently received services from our Repairs on Wheels program. Mr. Harper is a 75 year old New Orleans native confined to a wheelchair and has scant left his Mid-City home in the past twelve years. During Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Harper was evacuated to Alexandria, where he spent three months living in a hospital. Mr. Harper enjoys art, music & books, but had no way to leave his house to enjoy them. He sought help and was referred to Volunteers of America. Our Repairs on Wheels program, which provides minor home repairs to senior home owners in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany and St. Charles, was able to fit his house with a ramp. Now, Mr. Harper can scoot safely out of his home with his new motorized wheelchair. “I now have the mobility to get outta here”, he says. Thanks to contributions from Home Depot, Lowe’s, & the Easter Seal Foundation, the cost of the ramp was only $265, a small price to pay for freedom.