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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

AMS Vans Partners with Atlanta Non-Profits to Award Wheelchair Accessible Minivan

College Student Submitted Winning Contest Essay

Press Release – Atlanta, Georgia (March 8, 2019) – Atlanta based AMS Vans teamed up with the Aimee Copeland Foundation and FODAC (Friends of Disabled Adults and Children) to present the keys for a wheelchair accessible minivan to the winner of an essay contest. The winner, Kendra Allen, is an Athens Tech college student whose essay detailed the challenges of growing up with cerebral palsy and her dream to help others with disabilities.

Allen’s prize is a 2012 Honda Odyssey wheelchair accessible minivan with $7,500 worth of reconditioning donated by AMS Vans, which will also provide free oil changes and tire rotation for as long as she owns the vehicle.

“I am so thankful for everyone who helped me get this minivan because it means I will finally be able to use my power wheelchair outside my home, making it so much easier to get to class at Athens Tech, see friends and eventually start my own business,” said Allen.

“AMS Vans is thrilled to help Kendra become more independent and we are inspired by her dedication to finish school and fulfill her dreams to create her own company to help others,” said Mark Shaughnessy, CEO of AMS Vans.

The minivan was donated by Aimee Copeland, a competitive swimmer and counselor who lost her hands, right foot and left leg from a flesh-eating bacterial infection in 2012. After receiving the vehicle as gift, she found new independence, started the Aimee Copeland foundation and became the official spokesperson for FODAC.

“This van changed my life and gave me freedom of mobility, and now I am paying it forward so that Kendra may have a better quality of life,” said Copeland. “We could not have done this without AMS Vans and FODAC, and I am grateful for their support.”

“As an advocate for those with disabilities we see first-hand how reliable transportation can change a person’s life by connecting them more readily to work and the community and we are excited to see Kendra succeed,” said Chris Brand, president and CEO of FODAC.

Allen’s essay was selected from 60-entries submitted to the contest that ran from January 7, 2019 to February 7, 2019. Her essay has been posted in full on the Aimee Copeland Foundation Blog.

About Aimee Copeland Foundation:

The Aimee Copeland Foundation (ACF) was started to provide free and low-cost counseling to people with physical, mental and developmental disabilities. Led by Aimee Copeland, a licensed master social worker with a background in eco-psychology, a quadruple amputee and a necrotizing fasciitis survivor, ACF inspires hope through action, builds community through inclusivity, provides healing through relationships, fights stigma through education, and breaks down barriers through compassion and humor. For more information: http://aimeecopelandfoundation.org

About AMS Vans:

AMS Vans is America’s Mobility Superstore, a national wheelchair accessible van dealer and manufacturer with a mission to deliver the industry’s best adaptable vehicles and mobility equipment that meets the unique needs of our customers at a price they can afford. With over 20 years of dedicated service to helping thousands of amazing people realize true mobility freedom, the AMS Vans nationwide family is growing every day. For more information about AMS Vans, visit www.amsvans.com

About FODAC:

Now celebrating its 33rd anniversary, Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) continues to help people with injuries and disabilities of all ages regain their mobility, independence and quality of life. The non-profit organization provides more than $10 million annually in refurbished durable medical equipment (DME) and home modifications in Georgia and across the United States, all at little or no cost to the recipients. A pioneer in re-use, FODAC keeps 350 tons of materials out of landfills each year by refurbishing and reissuing over 700 DME items every month and is recognized nationally for best practices. In 2014, FODAC was named to Charities Under 5% Overhead, an organization of charities that have operating overhead of five percent or less. FODAC has also been fully accredited by Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation (HQAA) as a durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) provider, confirming the organization’s compliance with quality standards established in the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act. FODAC joined National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) in 2019, bringing to the organization much-needed expertise and experience in the area of disaster recovery for the disabled community. For more information on FODAC and its programs, visit fodac.org, and follow FODAC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.


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