The Good Life

Web Sites: Wheels for Humanity

Wheels for Humanity

Why I am recommending Wheels for Humanity:

When there exists, somewhere in the world, advances in science and technology that can improve the quality of life for someone who is physically disabled, I feel compelled to join the effort to make it happen.

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From the Web:

Wheels for Humanity's mission is to provide increased self-sufficiency and mobility to people with disabilities throughout the world, without regard to political affiliation, religious belief or ethnic identity.

Staff and volunteers at Wheels collect and refurbish used wheelchairs and deliver and individually fit them to impoverished children and adults in developing countries. Since 1996, WFH has helped more than 31,000 people with disabilities in more than 61 countries gain increased mobility and dignity.

David Richard started WFH in his garage in 1995. He was inspired by his family's visit to Guatemala in 1986, during which they saw a woman cross the road in front of their van, dragging herself by her elbows. She was 31 and had lost the use of her legs at age 7 from polio. Her name was Macaria. Later, the family returned to Macaria's village where she was fitted as well as 18 other disabled people in the area with wheelchairs. David found himself at a crossroads in his life and inspired by this work, he started collecting and repairing used wheelchairs with the help of volunteer youth groups like the Boy Scouts. He delivered 130 wheelchairs to people in Guatemala in November 1995.

David's garage operation grew and in February 1996, WFH incorporated into a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit. Now the organization operates from a 10,880-square-foot warehouse in North Hollywood, California, where a small professional staff and a large volunteer workforce of over 400 collect donated wheelchairs and refurbish them to suit the needs of individual people with disabilities in developing countries-people who would otherwise be unable to afford a wheelchair. WFH is able to keep its costs at a minimum by securing free shipping in order to send these refurbished wheelchairs to developing countries.

Click here to visit Wheels for Humanity

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