The Fantastic Mr. Josh Burroughs

Josh Burroughs in Shanghai, China, at the official handover of wheelchairs sponsored by his Rotary club, the Rotary Club of San Jose, California, for the 2010 World Expo.

Josh Burroughs in Shanghai, China, at the
official handover of wheelchairs sponsored by his Rotary club, the Rotary Club of San Jose, California, for the 2010 World Expo.

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 the fall of 2009, Josh again traveled with Dr. Lynn Metcalfe, Professor of Marketing and humanitarian, and fellow students whom she had challenged, guided and encouraged to become philanthropic. This time they flew to Oaxaca, Mexico, to deliver 400 more wheelchairs they had purchased.

Following graduation from Cal Poly, and still smitten by his desire to make a difference in the world, Josh joined the Rotary Club of San Jose, California, and began a career with Barry Swenson Builders. Through his business and Rotary connections, Josh has helped fund and organize distributions in Shanghai, China, and Bangladesh, where Josh and fellow Rotarians visited community centers, hospitals and homes to deliver the gifts of hope and mobility directly to recipients.

Josh in Oaxaca, Mexico, as a Cal Poly student.

Josh in Oaxaca, Mexico, as a Cal Poly student.

This spring, San Jose Rotarians and Wine for Wheels worked in partnership with the Forever Love Foundation and the Department of Social Development and Welfare to arrange wheelchair distributions in Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Chon Buri Provinces in Thailand. Ceremonies were held at rehabilitation centers, a veteran’s hospital, individual homes and a home for the disabled. These home deliveries were especially emotional, allowing the Rotarians to witness first-hand how wheelchairs would help the recipient and family members around their home.

Josh is back to work, championing a new project to send wheelchairs to Croatia. He is a shining example of the philanthropic spirit of a new generation and of how just one person can make a huge difference in the world by helping others and changing lives.