From Bella’s Bumbas: a visit from Santa and a heartfelt thank-you

8 Nov

Santa Claus made a very special pre-holiday visit to town Saturday, bringing his North Pole workshop skills to the Bella’s Bumbas workshop in Webster. But rather than working on toys, he tried his hand at cobbling together his very own Bumba chair.

Ably assisted by elves Teagan Orr, Kenzie Fedele and Bella Shorr herself — whose story launched Bella’s Bumbas — Santa learned how to build a chair from the wheels up.

Bella’s Bumbas is run by Webster residents Marty Parzynski and Rebecca Orr, dedicated to building miniature wheelchairs for children with a wide variety of mobility issues. In the four years since Marty built the first Bumba for their niece Bella, they’ve shipped close to 2000 chairs to children in more than 50 countries, often adapting the chairs for each child’s individual needs, and charging the parents only for shipping.

Marty and Rebecca arranged for the special visit from Santa, originally inviting six of their “Bumbaleers” to attend. At the last minute, several of them couldn’t make it, but Kenzie and Bella’s delight alone at seeing the jolly old elf was enough to fill the room. They got their own elf hats, and were treated to a reading of the Christmas classic The Night Before Christmas, courtesy Santa himself.

The special Santa-built chair — which was signed by everyone that day — will soon be packed up and sent to a very lucky little boy named Tate in Connecticut.

Here are some more photos from that special afternoon when Bella’s Bumbas’ workshop became Santa’s workshop.

A heartfelt Bella’s Bumbas thank you

Bella’s Bumbas, by the way, relies entirely on donations to do their amazing work.

They recently received a huge one from a combined team of construction workers who are building the new Amazon warehouse in Gates.

When Rebecca and Marty were invited to stop by the work site on Friday Sept. 24, they had no idea why. When they got there, they were directed to a huge parking lot where row after row of tables were set up. Before long, they found themselves front-and-center in a short ceremony in which they were presented a huge check for $13,600.

Turns out, the construction team had been collecting donations and holding raffles for several weeks to raise money for Bella’s Bumbas. The tables were set up for a thank-you BBQ luncheon for everyone who donated. It was just the beginning of a continuing stream of donations from the team which eventually added up to $15,000.

Rebecca explained,

Bella’s Bumbas, Ltd. was given an AMAZING donation from a combined group of construction workers building the new Amazon warehouse in Gates, a total of $15,000. Project ROC1 Team did raffles, a BBQ, and donations to bless Bella’s Bumbas. From that we have received several “residual” donations, thanks to S.M.A.R.T. local Union 46 and all their support. S.M.A.R.T. local Union 46, not only helps make parts for our little chairs, they also share our “mission of mobility.” That same morning (which coincidentally was also the third anniversary of our moving into our current shop location) we also received an amazing $3000 from Webster Presbyterian Church.

The donations Bella’s Bumbas received from the Project ROC1 Team and in the following days allowed them to ship about 55 Bumbas around the world, absolutely free, including to the Upstate Golisano’s Children’s Hospital in Syracuse, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Haiti, Honduras, Canada, Belize, Turkey and Guatemala.

“Today we are truly THANKING God first and all our amazing supporters over the last four years,” Rebecca wrote.

We have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams. It has been a rewarding, blessed, chaotic, hectic, and WONDERFUL 4 years (and many more to come). We have received the most precious donations from $5 to $10 monthly thru auto payments, to $15,000 from fundraisers groups have done for us. From organizations locally to individuals we have never met.

Donations are not the only way Bella’s Bumbas operates. Our amazing volunteers, some local, some as far away as other countries, each doing their own special part of our “Mission of Mobility.” We are often baffled as to how to truly express our thanks and gratitude to so many people for the almost 2000 “bumbaleers” (named by an amazing grandmother, Ann Reid ) in now 53 countries.

We know each one of our very special bumbaleers has touched so many lives with their smiles,and laughs, and true little miracles.

“Bella’s Bumbas ‘Mission of Mobility’ all started for one little girl, our Bella, born with Spina Bifida, and is now also a BLESSED network of families encouraged and uplifted by each other,” Rebecca concluded. “Thank you seems so small compared to what Bella’s Bumbas has become with so many blessings.”

“THANK YOU from all of us here at Bella’s Bumbas and our little bumbaleers.”

Check out these photos and video of some of those happy little bumbaleers:

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One Response to “From Bella’s Bumbas: a visit from Santa and a heartfelt thank-you”

  1. James Lockwood November 8, 2021 at 11:03 am #

    Great article, thank you for sharing their story

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