Have we mentioned that we love our ambassadors? Well we do, and we are excited to introduce you to Jim Hardy who has been with us since 2005. Jim has provided roughly 700 wheelchairs —more than $48,000 raised to support our efforts worldwide! He has been an amazing partner of ours and in May 2013 he and his wife Alice went to Bolivia to help distribute wheelchairs.
Something we love about our ambassadors is their unique story. Each ambassador has become a part of the Free Wheelchair Mission family for their own unique reasons. This is Jim’s story:
The first part of the equation is the need: People throughout the developing world who spend every minute of their lives with a disability that keeps many literally on the ground, in the dirt and filth, often isolated from any human contact save for those on whom they are dependent for even the most basic needs. Their situation is very real and immediate to me. No matter how many times I watch the FWM videos, they still bring tears to my eyes. Each time I work for or think about FWM, I think about and feel that need, and I am reminded how incredibly fortunate I am to live where I do, to have what I have.
The second part of the equation is the response: FWM is not the only organization my wife, Alice, and I have supported with time, money, or both. December is donation time in our household, and I write and mail the checks. They go to support things we believe in and care about, but I have to admit the whole process is pretty mechanical. Except with FWM. Each time a wheelchair is raised, either through my own donation or through the donation of someone with whom I have spoken, I know that somewhere in the world one person will receive a true miracle. That person will be lifted off the ground and gain a dignity and a freedom they could hardly dare dream about. Perhaps they will go to school or get a job. Perhaps a family member upon whom they were totally dependent will go to school or get a job. That one wheelchair will change lives! That wheelchair is tangible and immediate, and I know that I have played a small part in changing lives and spreading love in a way that, for me, no other activity can come close to matching. This is something that touches my heart and my soul.
I am so proud to be a part of all this! That’s what FWM means to me.
We are so grateful to Jim for his touching testimony and his heart and dedication to our mission. We specifically want to honor Jim during this month of August. Jim and his wife Alice celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on the 24th. He also is celebrating a milestone Birthday!
Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, and many thanks, Jim, for your love of our mission! We are so grateful to you and glad that we can take a moment and celebrate you and all you do.