Friday Story: Mobility x2

Greetings and Happy Friday!

Mobility is our number one goal when giving the gift of a wheelchair to someone in need. We want that individual to be lifted off the ground and able to move around when and where they want. This week I want to tell you about Mark—he is from Zambia, and the gift of mobility changed his life.

Here is his story:

Mark dreamed of the day when he would be able to play and explore with his friends. For the past 14 years he has been completely dependent on his family and friends for everything—to meet even his basic needs.He spent his life crawling on the ground to get around or waiting for someone to carry him wherever he needed to go.

The day he was given his very own wheelchair, Mark was elated! “This wheelchair will allow me to go to school and play with my friends” he told our team. He also told us how he often admired his friends who would be sent to the market on errands as he had never been able to join or help out his family in this way—now he gets to run errands for his parents! He is excited to get back in school and be a part of the community around him. It is no longer stories told to him; now, he is able to be a part of the story and share his experiences with others. “It is a dream-come-true” Mark excitedly explained.

Mobility is such a beautiful gift and something we are so glad to be giving every day through our wheelchairs. Right now, with the help of the , you can multiply your impact today through October 31st. Thank you for everything you are doing to make dreams come true through the gift of mobility!
Don Schoendorfer

Special Delivery: 3,850 Wheelchair Arrived this Week



Happy Thursday! We have had nearly 4,000 wheelchair land in ports all around the world this week: 550 in Peru, 550 in India, 550 in Gabon, 550 in El Salvador, 550 in Rwanda and 1,100 in Zambia.

Did you know?

  • Between the varying types of disability and varying levels at which people are affected, approximately 14% of those living in Zambia are disabled in some way
  • Of the different types of disability, mobile disability topped this list at approximately 9% of the population
  • There are approximately 14,075,000 living in Zambia
  • Based upon the statistic above that means nearly 200,000 people have reported living with some form of disability
  • Those who are living in Zambia with a disability often face social isolation as well as physical barriers such as access to public buildings and being apart of the community  by attending school and receiving healthcare

What are we doing in Zambia?

  • So far we have distributed 11,020 wheelchairs
  • We have been distributing chairs there since 2004
  • This year so far we have given 1,650 wheelchairs away

Thank you for helping us change lives everyday with the gift of mobility!

Check back in tomorrow for a Friday Story from Zambia.

Friday Story: Transformation x2

Greetings and happy Friday!

This week I wanted to share a story about two brothers in Peru. Their lives were transformed with the gift of their very own wheelchairs.


Edgar in his Gen_1 wheelchair


Franklin in his Gen_1 wheelchair

Edgar and Franklin were born with birth defects; Edgar was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and Franklin struggles with clubfoot. Together these two brothers have pushed the limits of what is considered possible.

Before they received their wheelchair, they were unemployed and unable to socialize with family and friends in their community. They often became bored at home, wishing that they had the ability to go out and about and even get a job.

Once they received their Gen_1 wheelchairs, Franklin was able to get a job selling thread and chocolates. His brother, Edgar almost always joins him and helps him with his work. They are now able to visit with their friends and be a part of the community—in fact, since they have received their gift of mobility, you can hardly ever find them at home!

Edgar and Franklin are just a small example of the difference you can make because of your amazing generosity. Often such a burden is lifted when one family member receives mobility, but in this case it is even more impactful with both of their lives being transformed. Thank you for helping to make their dream a reality .

This time each year we engage loyal supporters like you with the opportunity to multiply your impact. Between now and October 31st, every wheelchair is multiplied with the 

You can make a difference by multiplying your gift, but hurry, before it’s too late. Help us MULTIPLY the number of people we lift up off the ground through our . Watch my video below for more information.


Friday Story: Freedom through Mobility

Greetings and Happy Friday!

Can you imagine being unable to leave the house unless you had someone around to carry you? For many of our recipients, this is their reality. I wanted to share with you Thuan’s story this week and how a wheelchair helped her gain independence:

Thuan is the youngest of three girls. She was born with polio and has struggled with mobility her entire life. Years ago, she had been given a wheelchair, but it was too big for her to use effectively. After three years of improper use, it broke, and she was left with the challenge of mobility once more. She wanted to be out and about: to explore and see things near her home, but her family was unable to take her. She was home bound.

Despite the setbacks that she faced, Thaun continued to be passionate about school and her education. She is extremely intelligent and with the help of kind neighbors and relatives who provided her with at-home schooling, she has been able to work up to a 5th grade level.
Thuan was completely surprised when she received a wheelchair from Free Wheelchair Mission. She was ecstatic and so grateful that she was no longer stuck at home—her mother now takes her to visit their neighbors, relatives and on trips near their house so she can be a part of the community!

It can be so hard for us to imagine what life would be like without our own independence. Thuan will always need her mom’s help, but with her new wheelchair, she has a newfound freedom and more access to her community than ever before. Thank you for giving Thuan and her family the feeling of independence through the gift of mobility!

Don Schoendorfer

Special Delivery: 1,650 Wheelchairs Arrived this Week

Africa seemed to be having a great mobility week as all 1,650 wheelchairs have arrived for African countries: 550 for Mozambique, 550 for Angola and 550 for Zambia.

Stats for Mozambique: 

  • The MOST prevalent type of disability is mobility related (77% reported a physical disability)
  • Approximately 2% of Mozambique’s population is disabled
  • 80% of the disabled population live in rural areas where there is little to no medical care

Free Wheelchair Mission and Mozambique:

  • This is the second container we have sent to Mozambique
  • So far, they have received, 1,100 wheelchairs from us.
  • We started working with Mozambique THIS YEAR!

Thanks for helping us provide mobility to 1,650 more people this week!

Friday Story: A Visit to Kenya

Greetings and happy Friday!

In order for Free Wheelchair Mission to expand our provision of mobility solutions and strengthen our distribution partner network, we look for ways to improve our wheelchairs for future recipients and to provide our distribution partners the best product and training we can for those they serve.  One way to determine if our wheelchairs and systems are exceptional is to be on the ground conducting tests, talking with recipients and gaining feedback from our partners.  Recently we sent a representative and longtime friend and supporter of FWM, Bob, to Kenya to participate in a study being conducted at a school for children living with disabilities in Kenya.  Here, Bob shares part of his journey:

081514.1 Considering the importance and impact the work Free Wheelchair Mission does is sobering. Over the years, over 781,000 lives have been enhanced by providing people with a healthier, more productive, and more satisfying place in society. Millions of dollars have been generously contributed to bless many with the gift of mobility.

In Kenya I visited Bethany Kids, a residential facility serving about 350 children who have varying degrees of disabilities. Some of the children do well with walkers, but most require wheelchairs.  The purpose of the study was to examine the performance of wheelchairs in a relatively difficult environment. We set up obstacle courses for the children to maneuver: over potholes, through close-fitting furniture, getting around simple household objects like tables and chairs, etc.  The kids were amazingly enthusiastic when asked to be involved with tests aimed to answer questions like how the chair holds up on rutted, dirt paths, if the chair is easy to use and what features of the wheelchair the users particularly like.  Spending time with the children was a great blessing. Seeing their thankful hearts, eagerness to help, and sweet spirits, was a wonderful extra to the serious work at hand.

By being on-site for the research, I was was able to gather critical information for FWM which will be helpful in the development and improvement of chairs. Based on the findings, cushions and footrests are already being looked at for enhanced performance.

It is always our goal to be on the leading edge of providing the most practical solutions to those challenged with issues of mobility in the most cost efficient way.  Thanks to YOU, our supporters, tens of thousands of lives are changed every year!




Special Delivery: 5,500 Wheelchairs Arrived This Week

This sweet woman is from Honduras


I am sure you are wondering: “did I read that right??” Well, you are! Yep- 5,500 Free Wheelchair Mission wheelchairs arrived in countries all over the word this week!! We actually set a record for ourselves with this weeks report, as this is the largest Special Delivery post we have ever shared! The breakdown of where each of these containers landed is so cool that we thought I would share it with you in a new way….

  • 1,100 chairs for Panama
  • 1,100 chairs for Mexico
  • 1,100 chairs for Pakistan
  • 1,100 chairs in Vietnam
  • 550 chairs for Malawi
  • 550 chairs in Honduras

WOW! That is a lot of chairs….and that means a lot of recipients are going to be receiving mobility very soon. We wanted to share some fascinating disability stats with you, as we have been, but couldn’t decide which country to share about, so instead, here is a few interesting facts from each of them. Although it can be very hard to concretely know the percentage of residents living with disability here are the stats I could find.

Pakistan:10%          Vietnam: 6.6%           Malawi: 4.2%            Honduras: 2.6%                                      Mexico: 2%                                              Panama: 1.8%


Pakistan has the highest percentage of disability with a whopping 10 percent. Mexico has the lowest at 1.8. Pakistan also has the largest population: 179.2 million where as Panama has the smallest with a humble (comparatively to the other countries) 3.8 million. In comparison, Mexico is the largest country of this list and Panama continues to be the smallest. Of the 6 countries, Vietnam has received the highest number of wheelchairs from us! Since 2001, Vietnam has given the gift of mobility to over 108,000 people in need. With all 6 countries we have given out: 159,775 wheelchairs since 2001! What a great week to tell you about Free Wheelchair Mission and to show all that you are doing. Thanks for your help in bringing mobility to 5,500 people in desperate need.