20160212_235629In February of this year, Rotarians from Western North Carolina, District 7670, traveled to the Philippines to deliver wheelchairs and other aid to the disabled and less fortunate Filipino citizens with Districts 3820 and 3810. District 3810 consists of clubs from Manila, Pasay, Cavite and Occidental Mindoro and District 3820 consists of clubs from the Southeastern Quezon, Mindoro Oriental and Camarines.

The five Rotarians from District 7670 (Bill Biddle, Isaac Owolabi, Elbie Stiles, Charles “Chuck” Killian and his wife Sharon) all travelled together, each paying his or her own expenses, to participate in this life-changing experience. One hundred ten wheelchairs were distributed in six cities within the two hosting districts.

Philippines Wheelchair Team in Daet, Camerines Sur, Philippines Feb 2016

Philippines Wheelchair Team in Daet, Camerines Sur, Philippines Feb 2016

The team also participated in a medical mission for indigent senior citizens, visited a High School in Pasay City to see desks that were donated to the senior class, visited Blessed Ville Angels Special Education Learning Center and a Music Therapy Program in Tondo in District 3810.

“We are grateful to have had the opportunity to represent our district and to serve others in need. As a team, we were able to have a positive impact on the lives of individuals who are now better off. Thank you for the opportunity to serve others.”

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 story is borrowed and republished in full courtesy of The Independent. The original article can be read by clicking here.

Nine members of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton embarked on a service trip to Tulancingo, Mexico (Pleasanton’s Sister City) on October 16th to distribute 280 wheelchairs to the elderly and disabled. The trip is the culmination of an annual effort by the club to find a partnering city in need, raise funds, purchase and deliver a container of wheelchairs, and participate in their distribution. This year the Club selected Tulancingo as the recipient city and partnered with a Rotary Club in that city and Mexico’s National System for Integral Family Development (DIF) to make the program happen.

54810d65107a8.imageThe distribution took place at the town square of Tulancingo. The recipients were preselected by DIF. The event was well attended by both local residents and local government officials. Nancy Pennell, chairperson of the Club’s Wheelchair Committee, has been on several distribution trips. “The recipients of these wheelchairs are so varied. Men, women and children of all ages are in need. On this distribution ages ranged from 4 years old to a woman who was 104. They both cried when they received their wheelchairs. We cried with them. Participating in these distributions is an experience no one will ever forget. It is humbling, rewarding and life changing. A wheelchair not only changes the life of the recipient, but of their entire family as well.”

The Rotary Club of Pleasanton started its Wheelchair Project in 2003 at the urging of member Bob Athenour, who is also the founder of the Pleasanton/Tulancingo Sister City partnership. Since 2003, the Club in conjunction with the Wheelchair Foundation of Blackhawk and the Rotary Clubs in the recipient cities have delivered and distributed 4275 wheelchairs on 18 different trips to Latin America. The Club raises funds for the project through its annual Father’s Day Spirit Run, an annual estate sale in February, and contributions from its members and private donors. It plans to deliver another 280 wheelchairs in 2015 to Panama.

A container of 280 wheelchairs costs $42,000 ($150.00 per chair). The club generally covers half of that; matching funds from the receiving country’s clubs and governmental agencies generally cover the remaining. All travel costs are paid separately by the Rotary Club’s members.

Pennell adds, “The Rotary Club of Pleasanton asks that you consider donating a wheelchair in memory of or in honor of someone near and dear to you. Give the gift of mobility this Holiday Season. Donations in any amount are appreciated.”

Contact the Rotary Club of Pleasanton for more information: Rotary Club of Pleasanton Wheelchair Project, c/o Dick Stafford, P.O. Box 352, Pleasanton, CA 94566; Email: grs414@hotmail.com; phone: 925-351-8860.


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!


David E. Behring


Below is the press release regarding the Rotary Club of Dickson and their donation of wheelchairs to the Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFor further information contact:
11.6.14Dale Qualls at 615.446.8939

Good Morning Rotary Donate Wheelchairs

(DICKSON) – The Good Morning Rotary Club of Dickson recently acquired four wheelchairs from the Wheelchair Foundation to donate to Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency.

The Wheelchair Foundation is a nonprofit organization leading an international effort to create awareness of the needs and abilities of people with physical disabilities, to promote the joy of giving, create global friendship, and to deliver a wheelchair to children, teens and/or adults in the world who need one, but cannot, on their own afford one. For these people, the Wheelchair Foundation delivers Hope, Mobility, and Freedom.

wheelchairs 021The Good Morning Rotary Club has 28 members made up of business leaders and individuals in our community that are interested in the “Service Above Self” premise. The club was chartered in May 1958 and upholds the motto:  “Doing Good in Dickson County and in the World”.  This is the first year that the Good Morning Rotary Club has participated in a wheelchair project. The idea of donating wheelchairs was presented to the Board by Whitney Qualls. One of Whitney’s goals to one day accompany her fellow Rotarians and distribute a container of wheelchairs to the country of Guatemala. Guatemala has the world’s highest rate of Spina Bifida.

The Good Morning Rotary Club, under President Debbie Barber, is passionate about partnering with Club Rotario Guatemala del Este www.rotaryeast.org/en/  to provide mobility and independence to its citizens but the need for mobility is also seen in our own community.  With this donation of wheelchairs, the Club wishes to begin a tradition of providing wheelchairs to those who may not be able to afford or acquire needed means of mobility.  It is our hope you will join us in this effort to encourage mobility and independence to those that need our help.

The Good Morning Rotary Club selected Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency as the recipient of these wheelchairs. Mid-Cumberland will distribute these mobility devices to elderly or disabled clients in Dickson County through the Homemaker program.

Mid-Cumberland, a non-profit organization celebrating 40 years of providing essential services to residents of Dickson County as well as 12 additional counties in Middle Tennessee, has remained true to its mission since 1974: “to help people help themselves by providing knowledge and resources to improve the quality of life in the Mid-Cumberland Region”.

The Homemaker program provides essential in-home services to elderly and disabled individuals who have been abused, neglected, exploited, or are at imminent risk of such abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

Statistics have shown that every 5 seconds an elderly individual is abused with 1 in 9 elderly individuals reporting they have been a victim of abuse. As a result there are as many as 1,044 victims in Dickson County. While many people are surprised by the high prevalence of elder abuse, what is more shocking is that only 1 out of 23 victims will report abuse, neglect, and exploitation to authorities. Even more disheartening is that it is estimated 90% of abuse cases that are reported are perpetrated by a family member. This is the reason the Homemaker Program exists. Mid-Cumberland’s Homemaker Program is the only agency providing essential in-home services to those referred by Adult Protective Services.  The Program is funded in part by Tennessee Department of Human Services, United Way, local city and county governments, and private contributions.

wheelchairs 020Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency established the Homemaker Program to serve and protect residents in the community who are vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and exploitation and are pleased to report they successfully enable over 92% of clients to remain safe, independent, and free of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Unfortunately, there is still a waiting list for these essential services.

If you would like to make a financial contribution or provide comfort items for clients within Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency’s Homemaker Program, you can contact them by phone or mail. All donations are tax deductible. A referral can be made for Homemaker services for someone you know by calling 850-3909 (toll free 1-866-707-8791) or you may visit www.mchra.com to fill out an available form. If you believe an adult you know is being abused, neglected, or exploited please report this to Adult Protective Services at 1-888-277-8366.

The Good Morning Rotary Club meets Thursdays at 7 am at Shoney’s and welcomes anyone interested in learning more about how to help with this or other projects to join them for breakfast on a Thursday morning.

To learn more about the Wheelchair Foundation visit www.wheelchairfoundation.org. If anyone is interested in providing wheelchairs to Mid-Cumberland or Guatemala send donations to: Wheelchair Project, Good Morning Rotary Club, P.O. Box 1216, Dickson, TN 37056.