Jan. 19, 2006 — The recent donation of more than $3,000 worth of new equipment will help senior citizens at the Queen Louise Home for the Aged to function more comfortably.
The equipment — two wheelchairs, two shower chairs, an ortho-geriatric chair, and 52 pairs of pajamas — was donated by Dr. Sheshagiri Alla through the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands.
"I wanted to do something nice," Alla said at a small ceremony held at the home on Thursday afternoon. "I've come here a couple of times, asked the staff what they needed, and they gave me a list of things I could purchase. This equipment will all be able to help with the mobility of the patients."
Alla, a family practitioner with the Family Medical Practice on St. Thomas, said the shower chairs in particular were needed, since some of the home's residents are unable to stand while taking a shower. "These chairs will help both the residents and the patients in that capacity," he said.
In a press release sent by CFVI on Tuesday, Alla further stated that he wanted to donate equipment that would provide a lasting benefit.
Alla said he got involved with the Community Foundation after he treated Nathalie Lussier-Phillips, the organization's program manager, for bronchitis.
"I told her that I would like to donate some money, but I didn't have the time to look and see what kind of equipment I would need to purchase," Alla explained. "Nathalie said she would look around and see what was needed, and that's how the Community Foundation got involved."
Sandra Bradley, assistant director of liaison services at the Queen Louise Home, said she was pleased when she heard about the donation. "Equipment like this make things a lot easier for everyone, and makes the residents here more comfortable," she said. "It also helps us assist the residents in a safe manner."
Bradley said Alla's is the first sizeable donation given to the home in the last six months. "We are working with other organizations who have expressed interest in contributing," she said. "Right now, we're waiting on them to come through."
Bradley added that the home needs more of the same equipment, along with a piano so that residents could enjoy music throughout the day. "I think they would enjoy something like that," she said.
When asked, Alla said he would continue his community work with the Queen Louise Home. "I love doing this," he said.
Alla added that he is also looking into working with the Salvation Army on developing a mobile soup kitchen for the Bovoni area. "That way everything is accessible, and there would be something there for residents on the other side of the island." Alla explained that the island's other soup kitchens are in the downtown area.
Members of the Community Foundation approved of the idea. "It's really wonderful to see how one generous individual can make such a significant difference in the lives of many people," CFVI President Dee Baecher-Brown said.
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