Ken Behring started The Wheelchair foundation in June 2000. By March 2001 Rotary clubs and Rotarians had joined the mission. Our district has been one of the most active, sending a container full of chairs in one year.
Behring’s is a rags-to-riches story. A series of enterprises, including car dealerships, took Behring from very limited beginnings to become a billionaire. His biography, Road to Purpose chronicles the real achievement of his life when he discovered an enterprise that gave him meaning rather than money.
The Wheelchair website reports that as of 2012, 914,071 wheelchairs have been delivered all over the world. Our club has given nearly nine hundred.
In most countries of the world, governments and individuals are unable to provide wheelchairs to people who need them. Victims are most often casualties of land mines, though others have suffered polio, injuries or birth defects. Without wheelchairs, many victins are “crawlers” who must drag themselves along the ground. Others are transported in wheelbarrows or carts. Many require family members to remain at home to care for them instead of being able to work.
$150 buys and delivers a wheelchair. Rotarians in Blowing Rock may donate any amount towards that total.
Many donors request that no pictures of recipients be sent. They want all of their contribution to support wheelchairs. Others, giving cheelchairs to honor grandchildren or relatives, do want to have the honorees receive pictures. We will also send honorees a card saying they are being celebrated in this way.
Checks should be made to Blowing Rock Rotary Foundation, Memo:Wheelchair.