South Central Correctional Facility in Clifton has been associated with Joni and Friends, Wheels For The World (a wheelchair refurbishing program) since 2007. Used wheelchairs, most of which are received in an unusable and dilapidated condition, are donated to the program. The chairs are refurbished by one of the 77 inmates working at the South Central Main Compound to practically “new” condition. They are then distributed to third world countries all over the world free of charge. It is the goal and mission of Joni and Friends, Wheels For The World and South Central Correctional Facility to give mobility to the disabled.
South Central Chaplain and Wheels For The World Manager Randall Runions oversees the program at the facility. Chaplain Runions stated, “I am honored to be associated with Joni and Friends, Wheels For The World. This is a faith-based ministry (a 501-C3 program) that helps thousands of disabled people who would otherwise be unable to obtain access to a wheelchair.” Chaplain Runions has personally delivered and distributed approximately 1,500 of these refurbished wheelchairs to Mexico.
On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, South Central Correctional Facility celebrated the 10,000th refurbished wheelchair coming off the line. A luncheon, moderated by South Central Correctional Facility Warden Grady Perry, was held to commemorate this monumental achievement and was attended by several officials. Among the officials in attendance were State Representative David Byrd, State Senator Dr. Joey Hensley, CoreCivic CEO Damon Hininger, CoreCivic Vice President Patrick Swindle, and various county and city officials from Clifton, Waynesboro, and Savannah.
Paul Dorthalina, Manager of Domestic Operations at Joni and Friends, Wheels For The World headquarters in Agora Hills, California presented Chaplain Runions with the 2019 Gary Seabolt Award. This award is given in recognition of his outstanding leadership, compassionate care for inmate workers, unyielding integrity, high moral standards in all aspects of life, care for people affected by disabilities through Harvest Projects in Mexico, and advocacy for the Wheels For The World program. In addition, he presented the South Central Correctional Facility a Restoration Milestone Award in recognition of the 10,000th wheelchair restored at the facility.
Already the largest Wheels For The World facility in the country, South Central Correctional Facility announced an expansion of the program at the luncheon. In addition to the 77 inmates at the Main Compound plant, 22 additional inmates will be put to work when the program expands to the South Central Correctional Facility Annex. This expansion is expected to take place immediately.