Dunedin woman raises money to give homeless man electric wheelchair

DUNEDIN, Fla. - A Dunedin woman brought the Pinellas County Community together to help a homeless man. 

Catrina Sawyer-Hartz and a friend were saddened to see Ray DesRocher, a homeless man, earlier this week trying desperately to push his wheelchair to First Christian Church in Dunedin.

DesRocher sleeps at the church on San Christopher Avenue. DesRocher was struggling to push himself with his hands on the wheels of his wheelchair.

Sawyer-Hartz and a friend immediately stepped in to help wheel him to the entrance of the church. DesRocher later told them he suffers from neuropathy (which is nerve damage) in his hands. DesRocher also does not have full usage of his hips/legs. 

He was desperately in need of an electric wheelchair. Sawyer-Hartz immediately took to social media. She posted on her personal page and on the Pinellas County Buy, Trade and Sell page to ask the community for help.  

Sawyer-Hartz found an electric wheelchair in New Port Richey for $250. She raised the money for the wheelchair, which will be picked up at 8PM Thursday, and now is raising money to get DesRocher into more stable housing…all in time for Christmas! 

Sawyer-Hartz was amazed with the dozens of people who came together to help. Complete strangers stepped in to help out DesRocher.

“I am a Christian, and my heart goes out to people in need,” Sawyer-Hartz explained. “People were so kind on Facebook about not only helping to raise the money but also pointing me in the right direction to find resources to help him.”

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