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.

VIETNAM VETERANS OF DIABLO VALLEY: GOING BACK-GIVING BACK

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Wheelchair distribution in Hue City. Photo courtesy of Jon Robbins.

The Wheelchair Foundation recently completed a third distribution trip to Vietnam with several members of the Viet Nam Veterans of Diablo Valley (VNVDV) taking the opportunity to return for the first time to places where they served during the Vietnam War. The mission brought the gift of mobility to 500 individuals of all ages and renewed hope to their caregivers and families. The journey enabled veterans to deliver tangible measures of good to a country where they once were tasked with disseminating destruction.

Wheelchair Foundation President David Behring orchestrated the trip to alternate wheelchair distributions with orphanage visits, provide time to revisit historic sites, and leave free time for relaxation. The itinerary included a dinner that brought veterans from opposing sides together in an evening of harmonious exchanges of times remembered and events graciously dismissed. Although some of the 500 wheelchairs went to remote locations, the impact of giving 160 wheelchairs a day to grateful recipients unable to afford the means of moving about independently proved to be one of the most rewarding aspects of the journey for returning veterans as well as others in the group who did not serve in Vietnam.

Read the rest of this amazing story and some of the recollections of those that went on this distribution HERE.

DONLON GENEROSITY INSPIRES

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The inspiring story below was recently shared by our partners at the Wheelchair Foundation regarding Donlon Elementary’s generosity through their annual participation in the non-profit’s ‘From the Heart School Program’.  Please read and enjoy – thank you to our Cubs

Donlon Elementary School wrapped up their 5th year of participating in our From the Heart School Program this month. Each year they couple their efforts by pairing it with their annual Abilities Awareness Week. Students at Donlon spend time during PE experiencing what it might be like to use a wheelchair for mobility.

One Donlon student was so moved by what he learned regarding mobility issues around the world and what he experienced during Ability Awareness Week that he decided to donate the entire contents of his savings account. The total was $450 and enough to provide 3 wheelchairs. He did not want to be recognized which means that the joy for him was completely in the giving. What a wise and thoughtful young man!

He began a “ripple effect” in his classroom and at his school.   Donlon’s Principal, Janet Gates, was so moved by his giving that she decided to match his efforts by doing the same.  He also inspired his classmates to band together to canvas a neighborhood, raising awareness about the need for wheelchairs. The students that did so raised $150 in this way. Amazing to have children inspiring children and then ultimately inspiring us all!

Donlon’s total contribution topped all of their previous efforts and they raised $3,800 for our cause which will allow us to provide 25 new wheelchairs for Guatemala. Thank you Donlon Cubs for your generosity!

WHEELCHAIR FOUNDATION DELIVERS MOBILITY FOR A THUMBS UP & A SMILE

Article By Jody Morgan of the Alamo Today & Danville Today News

Don Routh (L) and Josh Routh (R) with wheelchair recipient in Columbia paralyzed in a mining accident. Photo courtesy of Wheelchair Foundation.

The Wheelchair Foundation, officially established by Ken Behring on June 13, 2000 (his 72nd birthday), has delivered 1,107,349 wheelchairs free of charge to individuals worldwide in over 155 countries who have no means of affording the wheelchair they need. In developing countries, an estimated 90% of children, teens, and adults who require a wheelchair are unable to acquire one. From the Heart, the Wheelchair Foundation’s schools program launched in 2012 by Don Routh, Josh Routh, and Bill Wheeler, introduces students in Tri-Valley schools firsthand to the enabling power of a wheelchair and connects them personally through letters and photographs to wheelchair recipients in Latin America whose lives have been positively impacted by their fundraising efforts. The gift of mobility spreads life-liberating benefits like ripples in a pond to family, friends, and caregivers multiplying the effect of each one delivered tenfold.

Read more of this story here…

FROM THE HEART TRAVELS TO COLOMBIA

From the Heart school program was fortunate to travel to Colombia this past July to deliver 220 wheelchairs and 10 Kanga pediatric positioning wheelchairs to those in need of the gift of mobility. We embarked to Bogota on July 7th as a group of 16, which included seven students and four teachers from our local participating schools. The students and teachers hailed from Del La Salle, Amador Valley and Dougherty Valley High Schools Windermere Ranch Middle School and Walnut Grove Elementary.

Our visit was organized and hosted by the Rotary Club of Paipa. We chose to work closely with them due to their 10-year history of working with the Wheelchair Foundation. While visiting the beautiful country of Colombia, we completed seven wheelchair distributions in 5 days, which included one home visit. We lunched at the school for the national Colombian Police after one of our distributions and they were kind enough to entertain us with local musicians. We had a great time learning how to dance along to traditional music. We were able to visit and make friends with school children in Paipa as well as a group of young girls at an orphanage just outside of the village of Santa Rosa de Viterbo. The week was both enjoyable and enriching for all of us and we return home more inspired to continue the work of providing wheelchairs for those that lack basic mobility. We are thankful for the opportunity we had helped deliver the gift of mobility while building friendships that we will hope will last a lifetime.