For the price of a latte and pastry for a month, you can cover the cost of a wheelchair to be sent to a disabled person in one of more than 60 developing countries.

Donate that money to help buy a wheelchair for a deserving person
By Carole Boynton
Editor

For the price of a latte and pastry for a month, you can cover the cost of a wheelchair to be sent to a disabled person in one of more than 60 developing countries.
The Rotary Clubs around the world are partnering with the Wheelchair Foundation to deliver a wheelchair to every child, teen and adult who needs one, bringing new independence to those deprived of mobility by war, disease, natural disaster or advanced age.
The establishment of the Wheelchair Foundation is brainchild of Kenneth E. Behring. the
Since March of 2001, Rotarians have sponsored the delivery of tens of thousands of wheelchairs. The Wheelchair Foundation will match any contributions made by Rotarians, Rotary Clubs or Rotary Districts, said Michael Mattie,
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CRPC at Wachovia Securities at One Fayette Street, Suite 200 in Conshohocken.
Mattie is a member of the Conshohocken-Plymouth-Whitemarsh Rotary Club.
A wheelchair costs $150 to deliver by a 280- wheelchair container.
Any donation of $75 will be matched and a wheelchair will be sent directly to a person in need.
The type of wheelchair sent would normally sell for $375 in the United States.
An estimated 100 to 130 million disabled people worldwide need wheelchairs, though fewer than one percent own or have access to one.
The number of disabled is likely underestimated, due to the inability to account for "forgotten" citizens who have been hidden away by their families. Those who donate money for a wheelchair will receive a certificate and photograph of the person who received the wheelchair.
Experts predict that the number of people who need wheelchairs will increase by 22 percent over the next 10 years.
In developing countries, only a small percentage of those who need wheelchairs have them, forcing dependence upon family and friends to get around. For others, the only way to get around is to crawl, or lie in a bed or the corner of a room for years at a time.
Despite tremendous efforts of relief organizations, their efforts are still not sufficient to meet the overwhelming need.
Currently, there are three basic wheelchair options, sadly, none of which is adequate for a country's poorest disabled citizens.
For information how you can help, Mattie may be reached at 1-800-333-0202, ext. 7611 or email him at: mmattie@wachoviasec.com.Forms are available for those wishing to make a donation. Checks should be made to The Wheelchair Foundation and sent to Mattie.
The donation may be made in honor or memory of someone.
For each $75.00 donated, the foundation will match that and deliver a wheelchair to a child, teen or adult without mobility, freedom and often hope.
The donor will receive a beautiful presentation folder, including a photograph of a wheelchair recipient, and a certificate indicating the person's name, age, country and wheelchair number. The certificate can be personalized as a gift in honor or memory of a special person in your life, or to mark a special occasion.
A total of 162,565 wheelchairs have been committed or delivered.
Afghanistan 5330; Albania 50; Algeria 140
Angola 3240; Argentina 720; Armenia 1354; Bahamas 360; Belarus 240
Belize240; Bolivia 2294; Bosnia & Herzegovina 510;
Botswana 50; Brazil 1335
Burundi 240; Cape Verde 226; Central African Republic 240; Chile 1440
China/Tibet 28163; Colombia 360; Costa Rica 332; Croatia 240; Cuba 240
Czech Republic 600; Dominican Republic 4992
Ecuador 2289; Egypt 808
El Salvador 2026; Estonia250; Ethiopia 1048
Ghana 720; Greece240
Guam250; Guatemala 2916; Haiti 531; Honduras 2504; Hungary 120; India 2686; Indonesia 520; Iran 2160; Israel 4010; Italy 18
Jamaica 660; Japan750
Jordan 1200; Kazakhstan 480; Kenya 1760; Korea, Dem. People's Republic 740; Kosovo 580; Kyrgyzstan 240; Latvia240
Lebanon 1749; Macedonia 500; Madagascar500; alawi1920
Malaysia1450; Malta240
Mexico 18593; Moldova 240; Mongolia 540; Montenegro 120; Morocco 240; Mozambique 600; Nepal 446; Nicaragua 1855
Niger 240; Nigeria 780
Pakistan 655; Palestinians/Israel 1965
Panama 2340; Papua New Guinea740; Paraguay 784
Peru 3029; Philippines 730; Poland 11; Puerto Rico 250; Romania 1090; Russia 460; Rwanda 5; Saint Lucia (UK) 280; Samoa 980; Senegal 240; Sierra Leone 720; Somalia 88; South Africa 2460; Spain 775;
Sri Lanka 240; Sudan 200
Suriname 240; Swaziland
Syria 88; Taiwan 756; Tajikistan 240; Tanzania 568; Thailand 2270; Trinidad & Tobago 1040; Turkey 1270; Turkmenistan 240; Uganda 764; Ukraine 1527; United States 14991; Uzbekistan 240; Venezuela 605; Vietnam 1779; Virgin Islands (US) 280; Western Sahara 153; Western Samoa 191; Zambia 120; Zimbabwe 990.
The establishment of the Wheelchair Foundation marks the most recent chapter in Kenneth E. Behring's philanthropic efforts to improve the lives of disadvantaged people around the world.
From his successful career as an automobile dealer in Wisconsin, Behring entered the world of real estate development in the 1960s. Over the course of the next 35 years, his companies created numerous planned communities in Florida and California, including the world-renowned Blackhawk development near San Francisco.
After purchasing the Settle Seahawks football team in 1988, Behring established the Seattle Seahawks Charitable Foundation, which benefited numerous children's charities. The Seahawks Foundation was the most substantial benefactor for the Western Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association.
"When I see the happiness on the faces of the people who get a wheelchair, I feel that this is the best thing I have ever done in my life," said Behring.
Some of the stories of hope, mobility and freedom are beyond comprehension.
In Jordan, a father and son were trying to survive. The father was a carpenter who had lost his job. The son stepped on a landmine and lost both his legs. The Wheelchair Foundation gave a wheelchair to the son, which gave him hope for a better life to both father and son.
In Honduras a lady came in requesting one wheelchair. Three weeks prior, her husband had a stroke and she had two children at home with cerebreal lpalsy. She said if she could just get one wheelchair, she could use it for all three of them. The family received two wheelchairs.
Mattie said, "Our goal for our local Rotary Club is 280 wheelchairs to be delivered to Argentina. We will deliver them at our own expense. We'll pay for air fare, hotel and food," he said.
"The president of Argentina will showcase the wheelchairs and we'll take about a dozen wheelchairs into the rural area of Argentina and distribute them to the most needy," Mattie said.
"For just $75, you can be responsible for purchasing one wheelchair and having your chair delivered to a child or adult in need.
Through a matching grant from the Wheelchair Foundation, your $75 is matched
with another $75 for the $150 needed to purchase and deliver a wheelchair.
"Imagine, for just $75 you can lift a small child off of a dirt floor and give them mobility. In fact, you give them more than mobility. You give them hope for a better life. All for the cost of a modest dinner for four at a typical restaurant. Recepients will receive a Presentation Folder which includes a picture of the person you have helped together with a brief description of their age, country and more. Also, your contribution is 100% tax deductible," he said.
Visit the Foundation's website at www.wheelchairfoundation.org.
In four different homes in Ethiopia, a woman pulled herself along the ground with her elbows for nine hours in the hope that she might receive a wheelchair - only to arrive at the distribution center after all of the wheelchairs had been given away. The Wheelchair Foundation team members found the woman a wheelchair.
A nine-year-old boy in the Czech Republic had never moved on his won until he received wheelchairs. His parents cried tears of joy when they saw their son was able to get around.
The list goes on and on. To help someone in need, send in your contribution to: Wheelchair Foundation, % Mattie at Wachovia Securities at One Fayette Street, Suite 200 in Conshohocken.




©The Recorder 2003
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