Wheelchair Foundation Historical Timeline
June 13, 2000 – Kenneth E. Behring establishes the Wheelchair Foundation at a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
December 2000 – The Wheelchair Foundation has delivered some 20,000 wheelchairs to 65 countries around the world.
March 2001 – Rotary Clubs and Rotarians join the mission of the Wheelchair Foundation.
April 2001 – Premier ad in Smithsonian Magazine.
June 2001 – Premier issue of our “Changing the World” newsletter is published, and announces our new sponsorship program with the following information on the back page:
“$150 buys and delivers a wheelchair to a person in desperate need of Hope, Mobility and Freedom. The Wheelchair Foundation has been gifted a specific amount of funds to combine with each new donation to deliver one wheelchair.
For each new $150 donation, you will receive a beautiful presentation folder with the picture of a wheelchair recipient and a certificate with their name, age, country and wheelchair number, until these combinable gifted funds have been exhausted.”
This and all issues of the “Changing the World” newsletter can be found on our website under “News/Videos” on the top navigation bar or by clicking here.
September 7, 2001 – Ken Behring signs a cooperative agreement with the China Disabled Person’s Federation in Beijing, and starts the country’s first nationwide effort to deliver life-changing wheelchairs to people without mobility or the means to acquire one.
August 6, 2002 – Ken and Patricia Behring travel to South Africa to distribute wheelchairs with Nelson Mandela.
January 2003 – Rev. Robert A. Schuller welcomes Ken Behring and the mission of the Wheelchair Foundation for the first time to the “Hour of Power” television show.
April 2003 – The Wheelchair Foundation has delivered over 112,000 wheelchairs to people in more than 100 countries.
September 2003 – In a collaborative effort between LDS Charities, The Knights of Columbus, The US Department of State, The US Department of Defense, and the Wheelchair Foundation, 5,000 wheelchairs are delivered to physically disabled residents of Afghanistan.
May 2004 – More than 10,000 wheelchairs in a month have now been delivered, and total number delivered has passed 250,000.
November 2004 – “Road to Purpose” is published and released to rave reviews around the world. Ken Behring’s autobiography details his rags to riches story of living the American dream, and the creation of the Wheelchair Foundation.
December 2004 – The Tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean causes hundreds of thousands of deaths and many physical disabilities. The Wheelchair Foundation responds with thousands of wheelchairs to the region. Transportation funding of wheelchair shipments is suspended by the US Government, and only resumes years later.
February 2005 – Coinciding with the celebration of the 100th year of Rotary International, Rotary Clubs, Districts and individual Rotarians have now sponsored the delivery of more than 100,000 wheelchairs worldwide.
April 2005 – The “Youth and Philanthropy” article in “Changing the World” inspires school kids across North America to participate in the Wheelchair Foundation mission with amazing results.
August 2005 – Hurricane Katrina strikes and devastates the gulf coast of the US and leaves thousands of residents without mobility or wheelchairs. The Wheelchair Foundation responds with over 3,000 wheelchairs rushed to Houston, Texas for evacuees, to Biloxi, Mississippi for displaced residents, and to New Orleans for replacement of wheelchairs lost by the elderly and physically disabled.
April 2006 – Philanthropist Ken Hofmann and Ken Behring each donate $1 million to deliver 20,000 wheelchairs in Mexico.
August 2006 – The Wheelchair Foundation has now delivered more than 500,000 wheelchairs to people in 144 countries worldwide.
November 2006 – Vietnam Veterans of Diablo Valley, California deliver wheelchairs to physically disabled residents of Vietnam. They raised the funds to sponsor the wheelchairs, and changed lives with the hands on delivery of hope, mobility and freedom.
March 2007 – A group of Princeton alumni celebrated their 30th graduation anniversary by making a trip to Guatemala and distributing wheelchairs to various communities with a life-changing impact on many families. Wheelchair Foundation President and Princeton class alumni David Behring led the mission, as he has done in the past.
November 2007 – Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, 2,000 brand new wheelchairs were delivered on Veteran’s Day weekend to Veterans and VA facilities in Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago and Washington, DC.
December 2007 – The Telmex Foundation donates one million dollars to help distribute 15,000 wheelchairs throughout Mexico. The Wheelchair Foundation has delivered over 650,000 wheelchairs to more than 152 countries and geographical areas worldwide.
February 2008 – The combinable gifted funds that have allowed us to sponsor the delivery of a wheelchair with each new donation have been exhausted.
Your donation will help us deliver a wheelchair and support our global mission.
For each $150 donation, you will receive a beautiful presentation folder with the photograph of a wheelchair recipient, and a certificate which thanks the donor for the gift made in the name of, honor of, or memory of a person or people of your choice.
For individuals, groups or organizations that wish to direct the country of delivery for a wheelchair shipment, the amount needed for sponsorship is $150 per wheelchair.