The Wheelchair Foundation is a nonprofit organization leading an international effort to create awareness of the needs and abilities of people with physical disabilities, to promote the joy of giving, create global friendship, and to deliver a wheelchair to every child, teen and adult in the world who needs one, but cannot afford one. For these people, the Wheelchair Foundation delivers Hope, Mobility and Independence.
The Wheelchair Foundation is a Division of Behring Global Educational Foundation. It is a 501(c)3 charitable foundation and the Federal Tax ID is 94-3353881.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How many people need wheelchairs but cannot afford one?
A: It is estimated that at least 100 million children, teens and adults worldwide need a wheelchair but cannot afford one. Some international organizations believe that the number could be as high as 6% of the population of developing countries. The number in Angola is 20% of population of 12 million people. Other “landmine” countries such as Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bosnia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Mozambique have extremely high physical disability rates.
Q: Where are the wheelchairs manufactured?
A: We purchase wheelchairs from several manufacturers in China that build a quality product designed to be easily maintainable in developing countries.
Q: How much does a wheelchair cost?
A: We can purchase and deliver a wheelchair to our distribution partners worldwide for an average of $150. This wheelchair would normally cost $500 in the U.S., but the large quantities that we purchase allow us to deliver each one for roughly $150, by a 280-wheelchair sea container. This same type of wheelchair sells for up to $1,700 US in some developing countries.
Q: How much do I have to donate to deliver a wheelchair to a physically disabled person?
A: $150 helps purchase, ship and deliver a new wheelchair to a person in need and supports the mission of Wheelchair Foundation. To sponsor a container of 100 to 280 wheelchairs, please see our Sponsorship Program page.
Q: How do you decide who gets a wheelchair?
A: We distribute wheelchairs worldwide through a network of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that have ongoing humanitarian relief missions in the countries of wheelchair destination. These distribution partners handle all aspects of the importation and distribution of the wheelchairs to children that can now go to school, adults that can now go to work, and seniors that can once again become an active part of family life and society.
Q: Can I designate which country I want my donation to go?
A: We collect donations and then send containers of 100 to 280 wheelchairs each to our distribution partners in countries that have been identified as in great need. For sponsoring a container, you can pick a developing country from our list of approved destinations where we enjoy established and successful distribution relationships. There are currently 152 countries on the list.
Q: How will my donation be acknowledged?
A: For every $150 tax-deductible donation, you will receive a personalized certificate of appreciation with a color photograph of a wheelchair recipient, a person who had their quality of life greatly improved by the gift of a wheelchair.
Q: Are all of the wheelchairs going to countries other than the United States?
A: No. The Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, Catholic Charities, and other relief organizations are working with us here in the U.S. to distribute wheelchairs to people that need one but cannot afford one. Some groups and organizations do sponsor 280 wheelchair containers to the US, at a cost of $42,000 per container.
Q: Are these wheelchairs designed for rough, third world conditions?
A: Yes. The wheelchairs that we distribute are specifically designed for the rough conditions of developing countries. Extra heavy wheels, tires, and front casters, sealed bearings and nylon seating make these wheelchairs the best possible solution for most conditions.
Q: What is the goal of the Wheelchair Foundation?
A: Our goal is to distribute 1 million wheelchairs in the next 5 years, and to further the awareness that a wheelchair is no longer an unaffordable item for delivery in developing countries throughout the world.
Q: How can I help?
A: You can help in the following ways:
- Your tax-deductible donation can make the difference between people wanting to live or die.
- Get the word out! Tell your friends that you are now a part of the most ambitious relief mission of its kind in the history of our civilization!
- Have a fund-raiser! A dinner or cocktail party in your home can serve as a venue to tell people about helping others. Local businesses, organizations and schools can all help. We will supply everything you need to help us change the world.
- Corporate Sponsorship. Help us find corporations that have interests in countries that need our help. We can target their sponsorship to specific countries and needs, and we will put their logo on the wheelchair identifying them as sponsors of an entire wheelchair container. They will be heroes, and so many people will be given a new lease on life.
Q: How can I attend a Wheelchair Foundation event or distribution?
A: Please visit the “Events” page of our web site by clicking here.