Donated wheelchairs expand beach access

Ottawa County

PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Wheelchairs help people with disabilities get around every day, but they still can’t go everywhere. So a local organization has donated specialized wheelchairs that will allow people with disabilities to enjoy Lake Michigan’s beaches.

“We think everyone should be able to dip their toes in the water,” David Hastings of Lori’s Voice said.

He and his wife Lori started Lori’s Voice to help others with disabilities.

The organization has donated 10 of the special wheelchairs — each costing up to $3,000 — to lakeshore beaches. One that will be available at Holland State Park was the first donated this year.

“It’s for children and adults alike that may have a disability, have trouble walking in the sand, then get down to the water,” Lori Hastings said.

Lori’s Voice also helps people with disabilities cover the costs of medical care and equipment.

“We understand the hidden costs in somebody with a disability,” David Hastings said.

“We appreciate everything we have, and so we want to give to those who have less, so it’s really a paying it forward,” his wife added.

Their goal is to help others like them and also to inspire people to be the best version of themselves.

“We know firsthand because I have a disability. I have muscular dystrophy,” Lori Hastings said. “There’s nothing you can’t do. If you put your mind to it, you can be the best you can be, and with the help of others you can do it. Look at me, I’m doing it.”

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