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Rotary District 5170 and Wheelchair Foundation Deliver 560 Wheelchairs in Monterey, Mexico

This story was written by Josh Burroughs  Chair, Silicon Valley Chapter of the Wheelchair Foundation, Wheelchair Ambassador, Rotary Club of San Jose

Gandhi said it best: “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

I can’t think of a better way to describe the feelings felt on our immersive wheelchair distribution in Monterrey, Mexico, a joint venture between the Rotary District 5170 (Bay Area) and the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Wheelchair Foundation. 

Josh Burroughs Monterey Mexico

Josh and members of the Rotary Districts 5160, 5170, 7090 and 5730 in Monterey Mexico during the delivery of 560 wheelchairs.

I had the honor of serving on this mission trip delivering 560 wheelchairs and participating in hands on service projects with our local Rotarian partners.  This life changing experience (now my 8th wheelchair distribution to date) continues to affect me as a constant reminder of the many blessings we have here in the states, and our obligation to reach outside comfort zones to share our gifts of time, talent and treasure with others.

What was equally inspiring was the sheer generosity of our donors towards this project.  In less than 8 months, starting with a modest challenge grant from the Silicon Valley Chapter and Rotary 5170 District Governor Susan Valenta, the campaign caught on like wildfire throughout the Bay Area Rotary Clubs – a huge outpouring of support from individuals, businesses, and foundations.  The fundraising campaign culminated with a grand reception at the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, where individual donors had a chance to meet Wheelchair Foundation founder, Ken Behring, who gave an inspiring speech in thanks for the continued support of Rotary International over the past 15 years.

Wheelchair recipients in Monterey MexicoThis tangible gift of mobility and its life changing impacts were sourced locally, and distributed globally, but the effects on the lives of the recipients can only be briefly documented through my experience delivering the chairs.  The true impact will be lifelong, and one in which entire family units are transformed.

Led by Rotary International Director Brad Howard, Rotary District 5170 Governor Susan Valenta, and District 5170 Governor Elect Jeff Orth, our 20 person team landed in Monterrey in April, 2016.  Building on a decade long partnership with the Monterrey Rotarians, the team divided into groups to serve the local communities. 

I personally participated in the renovation of the children’s library in Garcia, Nuevo Leon; swinging sledge hammers, painting, landscaping – the kids helped us out too, but they got more paint on themselves that on the walls! 

The primarily industrial city (think packaging and manufacturing of Mary Kay products, Kia Motors, etc) has an ever-increasing influx of migrants looking for work.  Very poor areas dealing with issues surrounding homelessness and housing juxtaposes an increased amount of new commercial development & construction in the downtown core.

Amid this changing landscape are the diverse stories of the individuals receiving mobility.  From children to adults, from birth defects to car accidents, the stories highlight the need for us to continue on this mission, and this is only the beginning!

Wheelchairs lined up for deliveryCheck back soon for a follow-up article on our 2nd Mission trip to Panama in October 2016 where we will be delivering another 560 wheelchairs in this Central American outpost.

…and Thank You again for all your support!

-Josh Burroughs

Chair, Silicon Valley Chapter of the Wheelchair Foundation

Wheelchair Ambassador, Rotary Club of San Jose

One Million And Beyond. A Letter from Wheelchair Foundation President David Behring

 

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Dear Friends,

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.

Choose the gift of mobility this holiday season 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.

Donations in any dollar amount help change the lives of those who are less fortunate and in need of mobility.

With your gift of $100 or more, we will send you a white 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 reusable, insulated, tote-cooler bag.

No shopping, wrapping or shipping! Simply call us directly at 877.378.3839, donate on line through our website (www.wheelchairfoundation.org), or use the enclosed envelope to donate by mail. 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 provide the gift of mobility and allow us to continue the mission of reaching One Million and Beyond. Thank you for your generous support of those wo are less fotunate that we are. Happy Holidays!

Sincerely,

 

David E. Behring

President

At Home For The Holidays

Come and celebrate a new Christmas and Holiday store located in the Danville Livery! The GRAND OPENING is on Friday, November 12th from 10am until 8pm. This day only you will save 30% on your entire purchase!! With your generous donation of $5 or more to Wheelchair Foundation, you may choose any ornament from our tree honoring the Foundation as our gift. See you there!

Store by AT HOME DECOR & DESIGN  925-831-1344

Located next to Games Unlimited (in the Livery)

At Home For The Holidays Flyer

Nicaragua Wheelchair Distribution 2014

Josh Burroughs began his legacy of supporting Wheelchair Foundation in his college days at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, California.  In August of 2008, Josh was a team leader among a group of students who traveled to Peru to distribute 400 wheelchairs.  The students purchased these 400 wheelchairs through a year’s worth of work as a class project.  Josh was totally overwhelmed by the powerful, life-changing experience of placing someone in a wheelchair, and from that point on, committed to continuing this wonderful work.

In 2014, Josh along with the Silicon Valley Rotary Club visited Nicaragua for a wheelchair distribution. This was in partnership with Los Pipitos and the Wheelock Family. Included the installation of new bathrooms, a new potable water system and purchase of educational supplies for the Las Iguanas School for low income children.

Take a moment and watch this touching video that Wheelchair Foundation just received. Thank you Josh, Silicon Valley Rotary Clubs and all of our wonderful supporters!

Giving The Gift of Mobility – A Letter From Wheelchair Foundation President David Behring

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Dear Friends,

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.

Happy Holidays!

Sincerely,

David E. Behring

President

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