Last year we shared with you about Mrs. Kohler and her third grade class who lifted 24 individuals into their very own wheelchair. This year, Mrs. Kohler and her 3rd grade class are at it again for the third year in a row, this time raising 39 wheelchairs!!!
Mrs. Kohler said this year her students were incredibly creative and acted like little entrepreneurs selling hot chocolate on rainy days on Balboa Island in Southern California, making homemade dog bones and selling them in the neighborhood while offering dog walking services. One little girl performed a clarinet recital in front of her family. Others did chores, bake sales, babysat, or just plain good deeds that they were rewarded for. One student helped grandma with her garden, another raked leaves, another tutored their sister, folded laundry, sold homemade jewelry and personal artwork. Some moved firewood, helped the neighbors move and sold hot apple cider. One little boy said, “I just asked for checks!” His name was Finn LeSieur and raised $1,000 alone. We all know he is going to be a phenomenal salesman one day. He just cuts to the chase and gets results.
Ambassador Margaret Watkins came into their class the Friday before their fundraising date closed. She talked to them about Free Wheelchair Mission and explained to them why people need wheelchairs. She said when children are babies it is easy for parents to carry them around, but as they grow older, their arms and legs grow longer, they gain more weight because they are growing, and this becomes difficult for mommy and daddy to carry them to places they want to go to, like school. Margaret said the kids were wide eyed and concerned. She also talked about how sometimes people have accidents and are no longer able to walk. She asked if anyone in the class had a life changing experience like this before. One little girl raised her hand and said, “When my Mom told me I had to get glasses.” Another boy raised his hand and said, “Me too.” Another little girl said her life changed when her grandma died. Margaret then told them what a life changing gift a wheelchair is for these boys and girls and told them about a few of our wheelchair recipients. This only helped spark the children’s excitement!
The next week Margaret came back to the class and praised them all for their hard work. She presented each student with a Youth Ambassador award, each with their names on it. The certificate says, “In grateful recognition of their efforts in providing the gift of mobility for physically disabled men, women, and children around the world.” She also pinned each student with a FWM logo pin saying what an honor it is to be an ambassador for FWM.
We here at Free Wheelchair Mission are grateful to know we have kids hard at work to give others the gift of our wheelchair. They are helping grandma garden with the most sincere hearts and doing so many other misc. tasks in hopes their nickels and dimes will amount to mobility. As we continue our work this year, we are honored to know there is an extensive network of young and veteran Ambassadors who are doing great things for our cause in hopes that no one should have to crawl.