The The Wheelchair Foundation, a division of Behring Global Educational Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable foundation, has a goal to provide a free wheelchair to every child, teen and adult worldwide who needs one but has no means to acquire one.
A Wheelchair Trip to the Philippines
Our Wheelchair Distribution by Rotary District 5220 began on March 7, 2016 from San Francisco with representatives from the Rotary Clubs of Escalon Sunrise, Madera Sunrise, Manteca, Sonora Sunrise, and Tracy Sunrise plus guests from Indiana, New York, Rotary spouses, and Friends of Rotary. We were joined by our District Governor Ellen Hancock. This is the culmination of much planning and fund raising spearheaded by Bob Bitter and Phil Benner. The wheelchair chairs are provided by The Wheelchair Foundation and a donation of $42,000 by the sponsoring group provides 260 wheelchairs and the shipment to the receiving country. All participants in the distribution team have provided the funds for at least one chair and the remaining funds are provided by other clubs in the district and miscellaneous contributions.
This is our first trip to the Philippines. We have accompanied chairs to many countries in Central & South America. Our partner Rotary Club is the Rotary Club of Gingoog, Philippines in District 3870. It is the responsibility of this club to provide funds for receiving the chairs at the dock in Manila, transportation for the chairs to the distribution sites, coordinating & select-ing the recipients, and hosting the distributing per-sons. There is a great deal of preplanning on both sides of the world to make this work and months of work and tons of emails exchange hands. We were fortunate to have the help of two American Rotarians living in Gingoog, Ed Velarde & Luke Tynan, which helped Phil & Bob a whole lot. (Click here to continue this article…)
Doing Good in the World
In February of this year, Rotarians from Western North Carolina, District 7670, traveled to the Philippines to deliver wheelchairs and other aid to the disabled and less fortunate Filipino citizens with Districts 3820 and 3810. District 3810 consists of clubs from Manila, Pasay, Cavite and Occidental Mindoro and District 3820 consists of clubs from the Southeastern Quezon, Mindoro Oriental and Camarines.
The five Rotarians from District 7670 (Bill Biddle, Isaac Owolabi, Elbie Stiles, Charles “Chuck” Killian and his wife Sharon) all travelled together, each paying his or her own expenses, to participate in this life-changing experience. One hundred ten wheelchairs were distributed in six cities within the two hosting districts.
The team also participated in a medical mission for indigent senior citizens, visited a High School in Pasay City to see desks that were donated to the senior class, visited Blessed Ville Angels Special Education Learning Center and a Music Therapy Program in Tondo in District 3810.
“We are grateful to have had the opportunity to represent our district and to serve others in need. As a team, we were able to have a positive impact on the lives of individuals who are now better off. Thank you for the opportunity to serve others.”
One Million and Beyond! A Letter From Wheelchair Foundation President David Behring
Like most of you, I have never had to worry about having to crawl on the ground or be carried by a family member or friend. As I turn 60, I realize how blessed I am to have enjoyed excellent health and medical care. I never had to fear or experience the physical ravages from polio and other birth defects, war, landmines, horrendous natural disasters or contaminated water. Unfortunately over 100,000,000 people in this world are not in my position. They are disabled and face basic mobility issues on a daily basis. It aﬀects their ability to go to school, to get a job, to travel to the market and to merely socialize with friends.
I am proud to say that the Wheelchair Foundation has now helped over one million people in 156 countries by providing them with that simple gift of mobility: a wheelchair. Over the years I have had the honor, pleasure and privilege to change lives. From visiting small towns high in the Andes by train with college classmates, to returning to Vietnam with Veterans to help out Agent Orange and landmine victims, to assisting the elderly in Monterrey, Mexico with other Rotarians, to distributing wheelchairs with Wine for Wheels friends in remote African villages to people aﬄicted with AIDS and polio, I have learned to appreciate life. They do not take mobility for granted in these parts of the world.