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 Mobility, Freedom, Dignity and Hope for the Future.
Based in Danville, CA and founded in 2000 by Ken Behring, real estate developer and former owner of the Seattle Seahawks, the Wheelchair Foundation has delivered more than 960,000 wheelchairs to 155 countries around the world. It is estimated that more than 100 million people in the world need a wheelchair but cannot afford one and their governments are unable to provide them with one. Thirty million of these are children and 90% of them are unable to go to school.
The wheelchairs come in different sizes and configurations and are designed for the rugged conditions that exist in the developing world.
Each wheelchair costs $150 to manufacture and ship to the recipient country. The Foundation relies on thousands of volunteers in the US to raise money for the wheelchairs. The wheelchairs are then distributed through a network of social service, non-governmental and governmental organizations in the wheelchair destination countries. 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.