The The Wheelchair Foundation, a division of Behring Global Educational Foundation,
a 501(c)3 charitable foundation, has a goal to provide a free wheelchair to every child,
teen and adult worldwide who needs one but has no means to acquire one.
One Million and Beyond! A Letter From Wheelchair Foundation President David Behring
Because of donors like yourself, we have been able to deliver over one million wheelchairs to 150 countries and beyond!
Like most of you, I have never had to worry about having to crawl on the ground or be carried by a family member or friend. As I turn 60, I realize how blessed I am to have enjoyed excellent health and medical care. I never had to fear or experience the physical ravages from polio and other birth defects, war, landmines, horrendous natural disasters or contaminated water. Unfortunately over 100,000,000 people in this world are not in my position. They are disabled and face basic mobility issues on a daily basis. It aﬀects their ability to go to school, to get a job, to travel to the market and to merely socialize with friends.
I am proud to say that the Wheelchair Foundation has now helped over one million people in 156 countries by providing them with that simple gift of mobility: a wheelchair. Over the years I have had the honor, pleasure and privilege to change lives. From visiting small towns high in the Andes by train with college classmates, to returning to Vietnam with Veterans to help out Agent Orange and landmine victims, to assisting the elderly in Monterrey, Mexico with other Rotarians, to distributing wheelchairs with Wine for Wheels friends in remote African villages to people aﬄicted with AIDS and polio, I have learned to appreciate life. They do not take mobility for granted in these parts of the world.
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Wheelchair Foundation Celebrates the One Millionth Wheelchair Delivery and Its 15 Year Anniversary
Kenneth E. Behring being interviewed at the Wheelchair Foundation 15 year anniversary and 1,000,000th Wheelchair Gala.
Wheelchair Foundation would like to thank everyone who purchased tickets and participated in our one-millionth wheelchair distribution celebration Wheelchairs Around the World, on Saturday, June 13th at the beautiful Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California.
The event sold out, and those 550 supporters and friends in attendance got treated to a spectacular evening featuring traditional dance from four continents, fine food and wine and truly heartfelt appreciation for the accomplishment of delivering one million wheelchairs to individuals in need of mobility in more than 155 countries around the world.
The audience witnessed an emotional interview with Wheelchair Foundation Founder and CEO, Kenneth E. Behring, in which he recounted the origin of his inspiration to “attempt what had never been done,” and how a simple gift of a wheelchair changed him and led him to a life of purpose.
To continue reading and view some of the photos that were taken at the event, click here.
Valley View fifth-grader Nicole Brownen, sitting in her class’s demo wheelchair, cuts out a shape using her non-dominant left hand, part of an ability-awareness lesson highlighting fine motor skills. (Photo by Jeremy Walsh)
Students in the San Ramon Valley and other parts of the Bay Area are learning valuable lessons about physical and mental disabilities through a burgeoning awareness program.
By placing wheelchairs on local campuses and providing educational information to school leaders, the Wheelchair Foundation’s From the Heart schools project aims to raise awareness about disabilities in the world, inform local students about issues faced by people with disabilities and generate funds for people in need of wheelchairs.
“We want it to be a lot more than a fundraiser,” said Don Routh, one of the volunteers spearheading the foundation’s effort. “I’m just as excited about raising awareness about mobility,” Routh said, adding that he enjoys helping students realize, “It’s OK to be in a wheelchair, (and) you shouldn’t be afraid of people in wheelchairs.”
Awareness campaigns like From the Heart have held special meaning for Routh for more than three decades.
“I’ve been an advocate for people with disabilities ever since my son was diagnosed (with cerebral palsy) at 1 year old, which would be 34 years ago,” said Routh, a retired business executive from San Ramon. “He’s my inspiration.”
With the help of his adult son Josh — who uses a wheelchair — and friend and Pleasanton business owner Bill Wheeler, Routh coordinates with the foundation and education leaders to present the From the Heart program at 48 Bay Area schools, primarily in the San Ramon Valley and Pleasanton school districts.
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