Thanks to Don Schoendorfer, our founder and president, for his reflections on disability and the work we do in wheelchair provision!
For this week only, now through Monday, June 27th, Free Wheelchair Mission will be the highlighted organization for Sevenly, a brand-new website with a new and innovative way to raise funds. Their motto is “One Tee, One Week, One Cause.”   They design a special tee shirt, offer it on their site, and donate a portion of the proceeds to the selected mission.  This is an amazing opportunity for us to share our story with a whole new audience, and we are grateful for the opportunity.
If you click on their site at http://www.sevenly.org/, you’ll see that the tee shirt they designed for us is a complete departure from anything we’ve done before – it is stark and impactful, a black shirt with bold graphics, and features the image of a young boy gazing up from the ground.  Next to the boy are the words “the world looks different without a wheelchair.” 
The world looks different without a wheelchair.
Just seven words.  But enough to give me pause from this busy life and get me thinking. What would the world look like from the ground, gazing up, reaching out, trying to make it through life without legs that worked or feet that were functional?  What would you see? What could you reach, touch, do?  Imagine your perspective if you had lived your entire life eye-level with knees, shoes, dogs, curbs, trash.  How would the world look to you?  How would it feel?
It’s hard to imagine.  Maybe impossible to truly understand. As someone gifted not just with mobility but with so many blessings, I know my perspective is terribly limited.   But having traveled in the developing world now for many years, getting the chance to meet our recipients and being honored to touch their lives in a small way, I can certainly give it a try. 
I imagine that the world would look very far away. I imagine that everyone would look very tall and be moving very fast.  I think the world might appear daunting.  Challenging.  Frightening.  Like something I could never hope to be a part of it. I wonder if I would give up hope, or begin to think I must have done something terribly wrong. I imagine more than anything else, I would be wishing that there would be someone up there that loves me, to lift me up and hold me tight, and make me feel a part of the human family. 
I imagine that life on the ground would make me feel very separate, and separate is not a feeling I believe God intended us to experience.
I’m thankful to Sevenly for making us a shirt, for sharing our message with the world, and for reminding me again why we do what we do.  After all is said and done, it always comes back to the people we serve, the ones experiencing life on the ground, and the difference that a simple chair with four wheels can make.
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