Abilene Business to Close its Doors After 35 Years to Help Others

Published 02/25 2014 10:11PM

Updated 02/25 2014 10:52PM

Gene's Campers & Repair on South 1st decided to make Friday their last day of business to focus on a mission with a higher purpose.

Gene Smith opened the business, an R.V. center, sales and service with his wife Doris nearly 36 years ago. At that time, Gene was still working for Dyess Air Force and had to borrow $300 to start the company.

Decades later, they've decided to shut their doors to focus on a medical ministry the couple started.

"It's time to say goodbye but we're going to have to," Gene says. "It's time to do something different.

In 2010, Gene was injured and needed medical equipment, so his friend helped him out by providing him with a wheelchair, scooter and a carrier. Sooner or later, Gene got the idea to collect durable medical equipment and donate them to people in need.

"We clean and repair the equipment and pass them out to people who can't afford to buy them or afford insurance," Gene adds.

In the past few years, the couple collected items such as wheelchairs, crutches, canes, and walkers. They've received so much donated equipment, that their church Elmcrest Baptist Church allowed them to use three rooms as storage.

"To see people come up to you who are unable to walk and knowing that you can help is overwhelming," explains Doris. "It's really a blessing."

Over time, the Smith's say they were able to give 50 electrical wheelchairs and 40 medical beds. They hope their decision to close their doors this week will give them more time to fix all the donated equipments and travel across the country.

Over the weekend, they started a 50% off sale to get rid of their inventory. They will be holding their sale until Friday.

If anyone would like to help donate equipment or help with repair, Gene Smith asks to call him at (325) 668-6727.

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