Update From Nate
I continue to enjoy my adventures with the Freedom Chair. The past few weeks I have had the thrill of telling friends, family and community members that I’ve been spending my time doing something that I have never been able to do before, that is moving a manual wheelchair independently, The Freedom Chair. It’s a great way for me to get exercise in the back yard.
Moreover I am really excited because using the Grit Freedom Chair is only the beginning of the journey. Now I can contribute to NQTA’s innovative trail rating system which considers the person with a disability, the type of equipment being used and the too often forgotten caregiver. So stay tuned as we will soon be giving reports on trails so that hikers of all abilities will better understand the trails that can work best for them. Help us make this final push financially so that we can get a community chair available for locals and visitors alike.
From Nate's Caregiver
An update on what we’ve been doing with the Grit Freedom Chair with Nate. He uses it out on our lawn just for exercise and we don’t have to travel anywhere and I can transfer him by myself. It’s really great. We’ve been to the Quabbin twice. It’s been years since we’ve gone for a walk there.
I want to stress how having a community chair could be so useful to so many different people. This Grit Freedom Chair pushes so much easier than your typical manual chair that even someone who can’t propel it themselves could go so many more places because it makes it so much easier for the caregiver. Someone could borrow the community chair and go somewhere such as out on the North Quabbin Trail Association’s Trails, the Quabbin or places you would not otherwise be able to go. Those who can propel it themselves will find it so much better out on trails and again places you would not be able to take a typical manual wheelchair. I also think of those who may not be steady on their feet but could get in this chair and move it themselves. There are just so many possibilities I really hope people will donate so that NQTA can have a community chair so that all can share in these wonderful adventures.
We are entering the final turn and have some wonderful and exciting updates .
For the past 6 weeks starting at the Red Apple Farm Freedom Chair Awareness Day on May 14th NQTA has been engaged on so many different levels in raising the $6,000 needed to procure 2 Freedom Chair from the Massachusetts based MIT graduates company Grit.
Grit has been tremendous to work with and we look forward to a long term collaboration and friendship.
Well , well from Florida to Texas and all of New England we have raised enough to PURCHASE OUR FIRST CHAIR and deposit down for SECOND CHAIR!!
In review one chair will be for our Afghan war disabled vet brother Andy Kingsley and the second will be stationed at OIC (Orange Innovation Center) for community use free of charge.
During all of this wonderful journey so many people have gotten the opportunity to take a spin on the Freedom Chair from a 94 year old to people of many physical challenges this chair is so aptly named!
Nate Johnson and his family mom Sandy and dad Leon have taken this chair and Nate's new mobility freedom to unknown and almost limitless possibilities.
Nate has ceberal palsy and is now headed down the trail, joining our Tuesday trekkers and will be redefining the limits of his physical challenges.
Please see the attached video of Nates first ride on his own chair.
Nates uncle was so impressed that he donated the majority of the monies needed to purchase a chair for Nate and Nates parents contributed the remaining balance as well as an additional generous donation to the Veterans Chair.
The Johnson's have stepped forward as true co leaders and friends in this unfolding journey and I have deep respect on how they as a family unit have worked together as Nate has established a successful and rewarding life.
So we so need your help to successfully complete this initial fundraising.
We are currently having a "120 Veterans Freedom Chair" fundraising with great cash prizes, tickets are $20.00.
Drawing is set for August 1st
Tickets can be purchased online or contacting either myself or Amy Richard at either nqta.org / email@example.com
This fundraiser is being led by Potatoes Joe who volunteered his expertise, Thanks Joe 😅
We are close to finishing up with many people to thank and I will have a follow up to make sure all the wonderful and generous partners are acknowledged.
So we will achieve our goal with your help to purchase these 2 Freedom Chairs and do know any donation you can afford will go directly to finishing this successful endeavor.
A special shout out to Amy Richard who has been the online director and creator of all if this.
Amy has taken this very personally and do know she has shed many tears of joy and happiness from the true generosity and caring shown by the community 💝
Last NQTA is a mapping and stewardship organization with the development of the Q+ M ( Quabbin+Monadnock ) a 200 + eastern - western loop trail nearing completion.
The redefining of what is a Challenge Mobility trail on a new rating system of difficulty from 1 to 4 using will be using this trail system as a template.
We will be working with noted author John Burk to then have a published Challenge Mobility trail map and guide book.
We will be having both Andy Kingsley and Nate as leaders in this effort.
This will hopefully lead to outreach at all levels in other communities in their challenge mobility and other disabilities trail development so they too can take advantage of these new outdoor accessibility opportunities for the underserved of their communities.
Please see handwritten note from the MacGees who are developing a cutting edge Challenge Mobility trail in Northfield working with Mount Grace and have given a generous donation and reached out for Nate and Andy to come out and do their rating on this new trail.
I put it it out to all that if you have a trail in you community that you believe can be developed for this way reach out to us and we will work with you together on this new journey of health and spiritual well being for all that currently don't have this opportunity.
So please help with what you can to help us finish up and a true mountain spirit of good wishes to all on our countries Independence Day 🎉
Upward and Onward !
When Bobby first told me about this fundraising adventure, I was happy and excited about it. But as the time got closer, and then when we kicked it off, I became extremely passionate about this, and trying to help get these chairs for Andy, Nate and our community.
With each passing day, donation, event and video we received along the way, I became more attached to this cause and more emotional, it became my personal mission.
At first, I was unsure why it hit so close to home for me, at first I thought it was just because this is such a wonderful cause and such a wonderful gift we can do and give.
As time went on, it hit me and it is still about how wonderful this cause it, BUT.... it hit me like a ton of bricks one day while I was watching the videos sent to me for posting of our next blog.....
My son... my angel baby James.... in 2009 my son was born to the angels at 22 weeks gestation. James had severe spina-bifida and hydrocephalus.... and if my son had made it and was here with us, he would probably be confined to a wheel chair, and I can guarantee how much these chairs would mean to me and our family for my little boy.
Thank you to everyone who has donated and shared so far. Please keep on sharing, we are so close to meeting our goal!!
Amy "LoveChild" Richard
From Bobby Curley
On a personal level both Celtz and I feel both honored and blessed in my role with NQTA to have the opportunity to affect such as positive change of sustainable well being and spiritual balance for our community and beyond for the very people that need it the most.
As a veteran myself the ability to right a wrong starting with one incredible worthy vet Andy and continuing on with this vision is a driving motivating factor.
Hope to see you out on the trails.