This week was another big week as 2,200 wheelchairs arrived!
550 wheelchairs arrived in India, 550 arrived in China and 1,100 arrived in Angola!!!
Angola was the second country Free Wheelchair Mission ever distributed to. When Don first created our Gen_1 prototype, he built 100 wheelchairs in his garage. He became so focused on the wheelchairs and the idea of giving mobility, his family actually started to get a little concerned. I’m sure they weren’t expecting him to start an organization that has given away 781,000 wheelchairs all over the developing world! If you haven’t watched his story yet, you can watch this video about him and how FWM started by clicking here.
After his first trip to India and giving away some of the chairs he had built, Don was able to send some more to India and his first ever batch to Angola.
When Don arrived in Angola, he was shocked about how severe the need was. Free Wheelchair Mission wasn’t born yet, and there was no thorough process of choosing recipients, creating distributions or finding partners.
There was a need… and a solution.
As Don arrived at the distribution site he realized there was already a line of people anxiously waiting for a wheelchair. He got to work right away, diligently getting the wheelchairs out of the car and giving them to recipients. However, as the sun continued to move across the sky and the number of wheelchairs available started to shrink, the number of people waiting for their own chance at mobility continued to grow. Not only was the number growing, but the people who were coming last, who had taken a much longer time to arrive, would most likely would be leaving without a wheelchair…and sadly they were the ones whose conditions were the worst.
There was no way he would be able to give mobility to all those people in need. But, this was just the start of Free Wheelchair Mission – this is how we came to be. Don recognized how dire the need was and his passion to give wheelchairs away, free of cost, only continued to grow.
Here is a picture from Don’s first distribution in Angola.
Notice the difference? No brakes, no footrest, no cushion, no air pump and no hand rims. Now look back at the picture up top. Look how far we have come.
Thank you for helping Free Wheelchair Mission come this far. Thank you for helping change lives and for providing mobility to those in desperate need. Thank you, for believing as we do, that no one should have to crawl.