Eileen Perry walked into StreeHope New and Used last week expecting to get a free winter coat, but she rolled out a short time later with something even better-a deluxe Shoprider mobility scooter
John and Bev Hood, the store's owners, picked the 82-year-old Chilliwack old-age pensioner to be the recipient of the refurbished scooter after she wrote them a simple, heartwarming note.
She told them she suffers from osteoporosis and arthritis and has had two back operations and a hip replacement.
She doesn't get out much, she told them, because she can only make it about half a block from her apartment using her walker.
But she ended the hand-written letter on a selfless note: "I sincerely hope you will consider me if there's nobody worse than me in need," she said.
That clinched it for John and Bev.
The scooter and a motorized wheelchair were donated to their store in the fall, but instead of selling them, the couple decided to pass them on to someone in need.
They put out a call to anyone who could use the mobility devices, telling them to write the store a letter explaining their situation.
"She's the one that touched our heart the most," said John of Perry.
Perry, meanwhile, was ecstatic when she was presented with the scooter Friday.
The Hoods, who had met her when she dropped off her letter, lured her back to the store for the presentation by saying they had a free winter coat for her.
"I've been wanting a scooter for so long," Perry said. "It's so beautiful."
With an estimated price tag of about $1,800, however, it's doubtful she would ever have been able to afford one on her small fixed income.
As it is, the scooter will make a big difference in her life. "I sit in the house all the time just watching TV and looking out at the bushes at the back," she said. "I won't take it out in the snow, but when the weather's good on the sidewalks, I'll be traveling every day."
That's just the kind of difference the Hoods were hoping to make with the donation.
"Here's a woman that doesn't get out of her apartment unless her daughter can drive her," John said. "This give her her autonomy to get out and say hi to people."