Happy Friday! We are excited to announce that you no longer have to hold your breath till Monday to receive our Monday Recaps! Instead, we will be bringing them to you every Friday! We hope these great stories of mobility will encourage you through your weekend. (Drumroll please) I am pleased to give you, your first, Friday Story.

Greetings, and happy Friday!

Yesterday ended our 5th annual Matching Gift Campaign. It was a smashing success and it is because of YOU – each of you reading this email – that we surpassed our original goal of 7,000 lives lifted off of the ground and into a wheelchair. During the 8 weeks of our campaign we have traveled together from one side of the earth to the other. We have visited Botswana, China, Chile, Ecuador, India, Nepal and Palestine, meeting new friends along the way. Each person we have met has had their lives changed because of YOU! This week I would like to take you on a trip to Vietnam to meet Them.

Them is a 47 year old husband and father of three children. In 1980 when he was a young man he served in the Vietnamese Army. On patrol one afternoon he stepped on a landmine and his life changed forever. The explosion left Them an amputee at his knee on his right leg and his left leg was paralyzed. The young man, now a burden to his parents felt alone, but ten years later his life changed again, this time for the better. He met a young lady selling vegetables and they fell in love and got married.  For their entire marriage his wife has worked hard to care for Them and their children, working long hours selling vegetables. Them once again felt like a burden not being able to work, but he has done his share in raising his children. “From our three meals a day to the education of the kids; every single expense for the family, my wife just shouldered them all. I just felt guilty and useless,” Them shared. That was until about a year ago when he received his GEN_1 wheelchair from Free Wheelchair Mission and once again his life changed! With his new wheelchair, Them was able to find employment at a mechanical workshop, a job he once had before the explosion. “I am feeling very satisfied now. I have a happy family. My wife and my children love me. I also have a job that brings me more than 2 million dong for monthly income (US equivalent of approximately $94)”.

11113These past 8 weeks we have taken you on a journey from one side of the earth to the other. I have enjoyed the trip with you and I know because of your passion and commitment to our recipients, we will continue to do GREAT things together. You are changing lives on every side of the earth –THANK YOU!

Blessings,

Don Schoendorfer

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