This International Service Project will provide regular and all-terrain wheelchairs to needy disabled children and adults in Costa Rica. The wheelchairs will be purchased through the Wheelchair Foundation and shipped by ocean container to Costa Rica. Assistance in Costa Rica is being provided by the Rotary Clubs of San Pedro/Curridabad, La Guaria Morava, and Cartago, who will help with Customs procedures, storage, and delivery of chairs. Interested Rotarians from the US can travel to Costa Rica to participate in the delivery process. We are pleased to be working with the Wheelchair Foundation, locally headquartered in Danville, which has a long and successful history of working with Rotary Clubs to provide wheelchairs to needy disabled children and adults around the world.

Due to ocean container shipping requirements, we are aiming to provide a minimum combination of 100-110 regular and all-terrain wheelchairs (at a cost of $16,500) and hopefully up to 200-220 (at a cost of $33,000). That is about $150 per chair for manufacturing, assembly, spare parts, shipping, and delivery all the way to the recipients in Costa Rica.

The chairs will include a mix of regular and all-terrain chairs, suitable for use depending upon the living conditions and requirements of the users. All-terrain chairs are in great demand because of the absence of paved streets in the rural areas and small towns, and even in the cities. The all-terrain chairs are larger than the regular chairs, which means that if we send more all-terrain chairs only 100 will fit in each container. The final delivery of the chairs will be made through voluntary palliative care organizations, nursery homes for the elderly and the disabled, and directly to individuals, located in different urban and rural areas of Costa Rica. By distributing some chairs through institutions, they can be returned to those institutions when no longer needed, to be re-used by other patients.
We already have a tremendous head-start on this project through the leadership of the Rotary Club of La Mesa-Sunrise and District 5340 in San Diego. They are committed to provide $9,000 of funding, and working on another $3,000; that would be over one-third of the total needed for 200-220 chairs. We are asking local Clubs and individuals in our area and in other areas of the US, to contribute the additional funds to achieve the goal of 200-220 wheelchairs for Costa Rica. If 14 Clubs or groups each contribute $1,500 (that’s about 10 chairs each), we will be there.

Donations must be received by October 31 so that the chairs can be delivered in Costa Rica in April or May 2017. Please make checks payable to “Wheelchair Foundation”, with memo line “Costa Rica Wheelchairs 2016”, and mail them in care of The Rotary Club of Walnut Creek, Attn. Bob Romero, P. O. Box 4191, Walnut Creek, CA 94598. Donations to The Wheelchair Foundation, an IRC 501(c)(3) charitable organization, are tax deductible. Checks will be turned over to the Wheelchair Foundation as soon as the minimum $16,500 has been received, and the remaining checks will be turned over by October31 when all checks must be received.

Please share this information with other friends and other interested potential contributors. If you have questions please contact Bob Romero, of the Rotary Club of Walnut Creek, at 925-457-4291, romero0425 @aol.com.