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.
WHEELCHAIR FOUNDATION UPDATE DURING COVID-19
In these uncertain and frightening times, we hope and pray that this message finds you and your families safe and healthy. Wheelchair Foundation’s offices are closed in alignment with local, State, and Federal guidelines during the Covid-19 crisis. Our employees are still available to answer your questions and your emails, as well as process donations, manage logistics and, along with our global volunteers and partners, make sure that our wheelchairs are still getting delivered domestically and in countries across the globe.
“Shelter in Place” and “Social Distancing” have become part of our shared 2020 experience. While the necessity for our social isolation will hopefully dissipate within the next few months, we know that social isolation is a way of life for many physically disabled people throughout the world. Unable to move about at their own free will, or able to do so with difficulty, and a feeling of being trapped within their environment, the plight of some of the world’s disabled begins to seem familiar.
Our primary mission over the last two decades has been providing wheelchairs to those without access to them, and to create awareness about the needs and abilities of people with physical disabilities. My father, Ken Behring – Founder of Wheelchair Foundation, worked tirelessly to promote global friendship. Now, more than ever, we need the world’s scientists, doctors, health experts, and political leaders to work together in friendship to find solutions.
Please stay safe and be healthy! While we all isolate, social distance, and shelter in place, take a moment to remember those who live lives in isolation every day. Thank you for your continuing support.
David E. Behring
DISTRICT 4130 ROTARIANS TEAM UP WITH ROTARY CLUBS FROM NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
In the last week of February, earlier this year, we returned to Monterrey, Mexico, for a wheelchair distribution and other “hands-on” community service. On Friday, we painted a Senior Center for Alzheimer’s patients (“celery white” was the color they chose), planted five trees, and presented three people with wheelchairs. One of them was a polio survivor, which made the day even more powerful. Because of the efforts of Rotary, and the Gates Foundation, we don’t really see any young people with polio anymore, and most people today don’t realize how devastating disease this was a half-century ago.
Along with about 20 other Rotarians from Northern California, we interacted with Rotarians from many of the Monterrey area’s 18 Rotary Clubs. Their hospitality is legendary and it was so fun to look at their projects and enjoy Members Night Out dinners (including a restaurant known for its goat or “Cabrito” dishes) as we continue the “Amigos Para Siempre”, “Friends Forever” philosophy we adopted 17-years-ago with the Monterrey Rotarians. It has been so rewarding for us to partner on so many projects.
VIETNAM VETERANS OF DIABLO VALLEY: GOING BACK-GIVING BACK
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.