Originally Published: October 21, 2017 5:50 a.m.
Free Wheelchair Mission kicks off its “1 Million for 1 Million” campaign on Sunday, Oct. 22, in Prescott.
The documentary “Because No One Should Have to Crawl” will be screened at 6:30 p.m. at the Heights Church, 2121 Larry Caldwell Drive, Building H2. Doors open at 6 p.m. and a Q-and-A with FWM founder Don Schoendorfer will occur after the screening.
Attendance is free to the public, but RSVP is required. Visit www.freewheelchairmission.org/heightschurch.
This is the first visit to supporters in cities across the nation in celebration of this summer’s major milestone — distributing one million wheelchairs to people in need in 93 countries around the world since 2001. The humanitarian, faith-based organization provides durable and adaptable wheelchairs at no cost to people with little to no mobility in developing nations.
“Because No One Should Have to Crawl” is narrated by Sam Waterston, best-known for his role on “Law & Order.” The documentary is part of the award-winning public television series “Visionaries,” which highlights rarely told stories of nonprofit organizations around the world that make a positive difference in their community and beyond.
Free Wheelchair Mission began in 2001 in Schoendorfer’s garage, as the entrepreneur sought an innovative solution to the growing need for mobility in the developing world. Currently, an estimated 70 million people need a wheelchair but cannot afford one, leaving people without means to go to school, work, or care for themselves. Many are left to crawl on the ground as their means of transportation. Schoendorfer, an engineer by trade, found a way to build a wheelchair that could withstand the rugged terrain of developing countries, is easy to care for, yet costs just $80 for the organization to produce and deliver. Thanks to a strong network of supporters and global distributors, all recipients receive the wheelchair as a gift at no cost to them.
As FWM celebrates the millionth milestone, there are no plans to slow down. Its next goal is to deliver its next million wheelchairs by 2025, half the time it took to give out the first million.
Information from Free Wheelchair Mission.