Written by Don Routh and also posted on Del-Corazon.org
In July 2015 we delivered 560 wheelchairs on a two week trip to Peru. The first week we were joined by 14 teachers, high school students and parents as we delivered wheelchairs to Ica, Parcona, Pachacutec, Chincha, and Pisco. In our free time the group experienced sandboarding in Huacachina and a boat tour of Islas Ballestas.
We took advantage of our two days between distribution groups and took the Orient Express to Mach Pichu where Josh was the first wheelchair user in memory to reach the Temple of the Sun. For the second week we were joined by another group of 13 teachers, high school students and parents for our deliveries to Huancayo, La Merced, Satipo, and Tarma. There were long bus rides on winding roads reaching elevations of 16,000 feet.
We hiked to an incredible waterfall in Chanchamayo and visited towns where they rarely received any humanitarian aide. All in all I think everyone would say they had an incredible experience delivering mobility to people who, in some cases, have waited decades for a wheelchair.
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This article was written by Douglas Cockcroft, Managing Director of Splitting Image Taxidermy.
The joy of giving is truly one of lifes greatest gifts. Through the wheelchair foundation, the gift of mobility and a chance at a better quality life is given to people from all across the globe.
In a relatively short space of time, the Wheelchair foundation has achieved the incredible milestone of donating and distributing over 1 million wheelchairs globally. This is a feat that was achieved through the passion and selfless giving of time and resources of Mr. Kenneth Behring.
On a global map, Africa represents one of the worlds largest populations in need. The remotest areas are often forgotten and those in need in these areas would ordinarily never have the slightest chance of the gift of mobility. These are the areas where the Wheelchair foundation has had greatest impact.
On the 15th October 2015, Mr. Kenneth Behring and a few associates, met in a small rural settlement in the Eastern Cape of South Africa to give the gift of mobility to 11 people with disabilities that had taken away their freedom of movement. Having been in contact with a number of local charity organisations in the area, candidates were brought together to meet at the Assumption Development Centre in Joza Township. In any first world situation, the candidates would have been lining up at the door, but in communities like these, dispite the opportunity, these disabled candidates do not even have access to basic transport to get to these events. Poverty and disadvantage are common practice, and only a small number in need ever actually receive the opportunity at a new beginning.
With the kind support of Ezulu Game reserve, and the charity organizations, candidates were collected from their homes far and wide and brought together for a brief but very emotional gathering. The faces of ladies who had suffered illness and lost limbs, as they sat in their new wheelchairs was a sight for sore eyes. These are women who care for their families dispite their own limiting disabilities, and do the best they are able to survive on a daily basis. To them, these wheelchairs are their saving grace and the gift that will transform their lives going forward.
The children born with disfigurements that have forced them into an immobile life, are suddenly transformed to children with hope. The elderly who have long given up any dreams of being able to care for themselves, are given a final chance at a mobile life of dignity.
The event saw so many smiles in such a small centre. Mr. Behring was once again leading from the front and stood with open arms so acknowledge the abilities of those who have been branded as “disable” for so long.
The greatest gift a man can give is his time. With the efforts of men like Mr.Behring and those mobility warriors he surrounds himself with, the future of so many lost causes will be given the opportunity at a mobile life that we all so richly deserve
Our sincerest thanks goes out to the following organizations for their continued passion and efforts in caring for the disabled.
Raphael Skills and Development centre.
Jabez AIDS health care centre
Keep giving and let the wheels of freedom roll forwards.
Splitting Image Taxidermy
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.
The highlight of the evening occurred when longtime supporter Mr. Ken Hofmann stood up and pledged one million dollars for wheelchairs for Latin America, to kick start the distribution of our second million wheelchairs. Mr. Hofmann’s generous act prompted others, resulting in nearly $1.7 million in donations from attendees of the event.
Thank you to everyone involved in this joyous evening!
This set of photos by Rachel Capil Photography
These photos by Cindy Hegger Photography
We take Mobility for granted – a basic right that so many have never experienced. I’ll bet you have no idea that over a hundred million people worldwide lack mobility. Without a wheelchair, their options are limited in ways beyond our comprehension. Because of your exceedingly generous donations since June of 2000, Wheelchair Foundation, the world’s largest wheelchair relief organization, has delivered nearly 980,000 wheelchairs in 150+ countries. This holiday season, please continue to Give The Gift of Mobility to others who, without a wheelchair, are having to crawl or be carried everywhere they go. Changing lives is an amazing way to celebrate!
Don Routh, one of Wheelchair Foundaition’s extraordinary volunteers, fully understands the importance of mobility. His son Josh lost the ability to move on his own at the age of one. With extensive therapy, hard work and a wheelchair, Josh is now independent and travels with his father around the world helping other people gain Mobility (like five year old Joshua from Paraguay who is pictured on the the front of our website). Don & Josh continue to provide encouragement and hope to parents who are dedicating their lives to raising children with disabilities.
Choose to provide Mobility by dedicating gifts to your friends and family and sponsoring wheelchairs in the name, honor or memory of someone you love. For your donation of $150, you will receive a beautiful presentation folder with a photo of a recipient, and a personalized certificate thanking or honoring that special person in your life.
Your Gift of Mobility moves everyone involved and represents the true meaning of the season. You will delight your loved ones and at the same time bring unbelievable joy to recipients and their families – and will be remembered long after the holiday season has come and gone.
Donations in any dollar amount help change the lives of those who are less fortunate.
With your gift of $100 or more, we will send you a blue or black triple function pen with flashlight and stylus to remind you throughout the year of your generous donation.
As an additional token of our appreciation, with your donation of $500 or more, we will include our plush micro – mink sherpa blanket.
No shopping, wrapping or shipping! Simply call us directly at 877.378.3839 or donate on line right here on our website www.wheelchairfoundation.org. Please make your donations by December 10th to allow sufficient time for us to prepare and mail your customized presentation folders.
We at the Wheelchair Foundation are exceedingly grateful for your decision to Give The Gift of Mobility. Thank you for your generous support of those who are less fortunate than we are.
David E. Behring