FREE WHEELCHAIR MISSION

Organization’s overall annual budget: $10,728,189

Requested dollar amount for this grant: $40,000

Suggested dollar amount for this grant: $40,000

Description of how the funds will be used: Our funds will provide one full shipping container of 511 wheelchairs to disabled individuals in targeted areas in Eurasia, Latin America or Africa. For efficiency, assembly is done at the destination point by volunteers and local partnerships, making the local distribution and recipient qualification process possible. Each wheelchair is built, transported and delivered to developing countries at an astonishingly reasonable cost of $77.91.

Description of Project/Program: What makes it compelling, and the specific needs it will address: Over 100 million economically disadvantaged disabled people around the globe are forced to crawl, are treated as the “discarded” and live without independence or dignity. These free, functional, durable wheelchairs offer quality of life enabling individuals to rise up off the ground and become contributing members of their communities, offering freedom, autonomy and opportunity.

Describe the Organization or Project as it pertains to the following Impact Giving Grant Standards: High Impact, Direct Benefit, Education, Sustainability, Community Building, Innovative, Measurable:

Mobility is something most of us take for granted. People afflicted with illnesses such as polio, birth defects, cerebral palsy or accidents and violence must rely on friends and family for basic care and transportation – or they are forced to crawl! The suffering associated with such a plight is chronic physical pain, humiliation, indignity, apprehension, fright, anxiety and terror of the physical circumstances beyond their control. The high impact of providing each wheelchair affects the lives of three other people (family members, caregivers and loved ones) beyond the recipient thus a shipment of 511 wheelchairs serves 1.533 individuals. Additionally, the transformation is immediately life-changing and long-lasting! In a two-year process, Free Wheelchair Mission surveyed and followed up with 600 recipients to obtain their feedback for improving the quality, comfort, and sustainability of the wheelchairs. Recent improvements include adding an innovative, weight-transferring, pressure seat cushion and providing small repair tools necessary to extend the life of the wheelchair. The organization’s founder and volunteer engineers have been creative in developing wheelchairs in different sizes and with supports for recipients with the inability to control their upper bodies or children with neck injuries or illnesses. Any new innovation must be reproduced at the same “per piece price” so creativity and ingenuity are engaged on all levels by this organization. The goal of Free Wheelchair Mission is to distribute 1,000,000 wheelchairs by the end of 2016 and over 870,000, have already been distributed. Mobility off the ground helps protect disabled individuals from hazards, abuse and neglect. Some of the recipients are able to attend school or complete their education, work and earn an income once they become mobile. The community receives the benefit of not only the newly mobilized individual, but the family members, caregivers and loved ones are also free to make greater contributions.

Organization’s Mission Statement: To provide the transforming gift of mobility to the physically disabled poor in developing countries.

www.freewheelchairmission.org