Stories of Service: Cathie Cummins

Congratulations to Cathie Cummins of Union Hall – winner of the 2018 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Senior Volunteer!As a pediatric physical therapist for more than 30 years, Cathie Cummins has seen firsthand the needs that exist in the community for assistive equipment for children with disabilities. Recognizing that resources were limited and adaptive equipment was too expensive for many families, Cathie began adaptive equipment loan programs in both Northern and Southwest Virginia. After identifying a successful model and a statewide need, Cathy started Children’s Assistive Technology Service (CATS) which provides for the re-use of pediatric rehabilitation equipment and assistive technology devices for families with limited resources across Virginia. Cathie volunteers more than 40 hours a week picking up equipment donations, hosting equipment scrubs at her home, checking over donations and delivering them to storage, and providing fitting of the equipment to children with disabilities. As a result of her efforts, approximately 570 children have received 619 pieces of adaptive equipment. Cathie is currently overseeing the program in Hampton Roads and working with volunteers in Richmond to form a location there. Cathie also serves the needs of children with disabilities in a variety of other ways, including planning special events in area schools like a Hallowheels costume contest and a wheelchair dancing competition. Because of Cathie’s dedication to children with disabilities, she has been able to watch as children take their first steps, stand for the first time, race their sibling and friends with the help of special modified “cars”, and simply have fun – just like their peers!

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