Transformation for One, Change for Many

Our partner, Food For The Poor Guyana Inc., met Davika and her family in their home. They immediately noticed the ashy callouses on her knees and discovered that when she’s alone, Davika can only get around by dragging herself on the cement floor.

Davika is the eldest child with six younger siblings, but in many ways they look out for her. She was born with a disability and has never been able to walk. She has never gone to school. She’s been largely confined to the house. But Davika’s siblings share what they’ve learned with her as soon as they get home from school. They make sure she’s always included.

Davinika 2-editedA few days after their first meeting, our partners returned with a GEN_2 wheelchair for Davika and other items for the family. Her siblings were ecstatic and began making plans for all the things they could do with Davika now that she had a wheelchair. They may have been more excited than she was!

Through the gift of mobility our partners have been able to establish an ongoing relationship with Davika’s family and are continuing to find ways to support them as they work to improve their economic and social conditions.

Thank you for your commitment to providing mobility and the life change that comes with it. Davika is up off the ground now, and her family has new hope, because of your generous support!

Blessings,
Don Schoendorfer

 

 

 

Like New Legs

Mr. Thai lost both his legs to landmines over 40 years ago in Vietnam. After that he moved around by using two low stools. He placed one stool in front of the other stool. Then he used his arms to swing himself onto the front stool. He moved the rear stool in front and repeated the process over and over. It was a long, slow way to move for a very active man.

For decades Mr. Thai repaired bicycles in his home. But now that he’s retired, he loves to help his wife with chores around the house and getting out to socialize with friends and family. His busy life became much easier when he received one of the first GEN_3 wheelchairs distributed in 2014. “It’s like new legs,” he said.

FridayStory_021216Almost two years later, Mr. Thai continues to push his wheelchair to the limit. He hefts it up from the ground into his raised home and back down again. He folds it up to take it in vehicles. He uses it all day long both inside and outside. He even uses it the rain.

Like Mr. Thai, many people make their own accommodations for their disabilities, but receiving the gift of mobility saves them time and effort and allows them to engage more easily with their communities.

Thank you for helping to lift lives off the ground!

Blessings,
Don Schoendorfer

More to the Story

We love sharing stories with you every week, and we hope you love receiving them! As you can imagine, there is always a story behind the story … and an ongoing story still being written.

This week we received an email from Liliana who works with our distribution partner, Camino de Vida, in Peru. She shared an unfolding story of mobility, and it was too good to keep to ourselves.

FridayStory-Peru_020516Two years ago Liliana was walking home. As she waited at a stop light to cross the street she noticed another woman waiting to cross the street. In her arms she was carrying her almost ten year old son. Moved by the sight of this woman and her son, Liliana struck up a conversation and found out that every day she carried Fabricio many, many blocks because he couldn’t walk. Liliana knew only God could give a mother the strength to carry her growing son so far.

Shortly thereafter Fabricio received a GEN_2 wheelchair in one of Camino de Vida’s distributions, but the story doesn’t end there. Last Saturday, as Liliana walked along a street she glanced up and saw her path about to cross with a woman and a boy in a wheelchair. It was Fabricio and his mom. Liliana stopped to talk with them and snapped this picture on her phone, and she wrote, “my heart was so happy to see them again but now in a better quality of life!!”

These weekly stories capture a moment in time, but what a gift to know the story is much bigger. The impact on the lives of recipients and their families continues to be felt for years to come thanks to your generous support!

Blessings,
Don Schoendorfer

Overcoming Obstacles Together

Don Amilcar was born with spina bifida that paralyzed his legs. His family was so committed to keeping his life as normal as possible that his father carried him to school every day, and his dedication helped Amilcar graduate from high school.

While getting an education was hard, finding a job was even harder. Immobility robbed him of most opportunities, but not all of them. Amilcar learned the art of piñateria, so he could make and sell piñatas from his home in El Salvador. His work was excellent, yet getting out and distributing his finished products was a consistent challenge. His parents encouraged him and helped every way possible, but they could no longer carry him.

Amilcar persevered. He married and had two daughters. But he and his family never stopped dreaming of a wheelchair, which would allow him to get out on his own and increase his piñata sales. It would allow him to be more self-sufficient and help his whole family to thrive.

Don Amilcar FSOn the day New Horizons Foundation for the Poor arrived with a GEN_2 wheelchair for Amilcar, the whole family was overjoyed. His mother and wife couldn’t stop smiling as Amilcar settled into his wheelchair, and his young daughter couldn’t wait to climb into his lap.

Thank you, our dedicated supporters, for helping us honor the faithfulness of men and women around the world who have waited so patiently for the gift of mobility!

Blessings,
Don Schoendorfer

Free to Teach

Rebeca is 24 years old. She was born with congenital limb defects in the suburbs of Luanda, Angola, but her family committed to giving her as normal a life as possible. They carried her wherever she needed to go.

“As I got older and increased in weight and height, my father could no longer just pick me up and carry me to the school I needed to attend, which was farther from home. Consequently, I had to stay home, without going to school, for four years.”

Eventually Rebeca’s family managed to get a wheelchair so she was able to finish high school. Unfortunately, Rebeca became homebound again because her wheelchair broke, but her community recognized her passion for education and began sending their children to her home to be tutored, and they paid her with monthly donations.

FridayStory_012216Rebeca said, “the children are our future. It is important for me to do what I can so the children do not fall behind in their education like I did a few years ago.”

When she received her GEN_2 wheelchair, Rebeca said, “It was an answer to my prayers. I am thankful and overjoyed. This invaluable wheelchair will allow me to engage in more daily activities than I was able to in the past. Whenever I crawl around, I can’t help but feel humiliated. Now, I will move around with dignity, without having to crawl in the dust all the time. With this wheelchair, I am free. With this wheelchair, I will visit my relatives with pride, satisfaction and without any remorse of being a weight to them!”

Rebeca’s final words are to each of you, our generous supporters: “I thank God for everything, and I feel indebted to everybody who made this wheelchair donation possible.”

We, too, are thankful for you and your commitment to giving the gift of mobility to the Rebecas of the world.

Blessings,
Don Schoendorfer

A Family Affected

Disability can ripple through generations of a family. One incident, one illness, one moment can affect many people for years.

FridayStory_011516For Bajin’s family one day changed all of their lives. He was injured in a car accident and lost his mobility when he was 41 years old. In the 23 years since then his two daughters have moved away to find work to help support the family. The daily burdens of getting necessities from town, caring for the house and caring for Bajin fell on his wife. Some days she was able to get him onto a pallet-like wheelbarrow and take him out. Other days she made the walk to town alone.

In October a team of FWM supporters made home visits with our partner in China, Henan Disabled Person’s Federation. Together they visited Bajin in his home and fitted him in his own GEN_2 wheelchair.

Now Bajin looks forward to being able to get outside and go into town to sell his roosters. He’s already looking for ways to lighten the load his wife has been shouldering for more than two decades. The effects of his newfound mobility will continue to ripple and spread through each member of their family.

Thank you for your commitment to seeing lives change through the gift of mobility. These stories of transformation wouldn’t be possible without your generous support.

Blessings,
Don Schoendorfer

A Little Piece

Cirilo arrived at one of our distributions in Mexico this fall in his Sunday finest. Quiet and somber he waited with his daughter-in-law for his turn. He’d never had a wheelchair before, and beneath his stoic expression he was eager for the moment he could set down his worn cane and move without debilitating pain.

Cirilo cropped smThe last five years have been hard for Cirilo. His broken left knee never healed correctly, two toes on one foot were amputated, he lost vision in his left eye, complications from four years of dialysis have weakened his left arm, and hardest of all his wife died three years ago. Unable to work or care for himself, he’s been living with his daughter-in-law while his son works in Mexico City. It’s been a strain on all of them.

When a volunteer asked Cirilo if he had a nickname, he got choked up. His wife used to call him “Pedacito” or “little piece.” It started when she would call him for dinner, “Where’s my little piece of my heart?” Over the years he became her “Pedacito.” Waves of emotion washed over him as he talked about his wife.

Then—seated in his own GEN_2 wheelchair—Cirilo smiled and announced he would call his chair, “Pedacito.”

Thank you for giving Cirilo a little piece of his heart. In providing mobility, we are giving more than a means of movement, we are giving a little piece of what’s been missing for so many people.

Blessings,
Don Schoendorfer