Bartlett charity serving the disabled at risk of shutting down over rent

BARTLETT, Tenn. — A Bartlett organization that helps handicapped people around the world become mobile and regain confidence is facing the threat of having to shut down after their landlord announced rent was going up.

Mark Griffy started the Memphis chapter of Mobility Worldwide after he retired and was looking for a way to spread his church's mission abroad and also to fill a need he noticed.

His organization makes mobility carts for people in third-world countries who do not have use of their legs to move around easier.

"It's a little bit overwhelming," Griffy said. "I feel like it's a calling from God. It’s wonderful to see someone who's crawled their whole life and put them on this, and they leave with a smile."

So far the organization has delivered nearly 1,000 carts to countries including Haiti and the Dominican Republic, but their landlord's announcement has Griffy questioning their future.

“With utilities it’ll be $1,000 a month," Griffy said. "My board of directors feels like we can’t afford that.”

Volunteer Frank Boling said he wasn’t in a wheelchair when he started helping, but because of knee problems, he is now.

"It gives them their dignity, not only mobility, but their dignity back," Boling said. "I have a special connection with the people getting these."

Griffy is hoping for someone to offer them a new, similar space so they can keep business going.

Anyone who would like to reach out with a space to operate, the Mobility Worldwide executive director's phone number is 901-921-5586.

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