Wheelchair Appeal Letter 2016

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It’s that time of year again! Josh and I continue to dedicate our time and resources to create awareness about the need for mobility and we try to make a difference by delivering wheelchairs to those in need.

It is estimated that more than 100 million people, including 30 million children, worldwide need a wheelchair but can’t afford one. Since 2000 the Wheelchair Foundation has delivered over 1,040,000 wheelchairs in more than 155 countries.

Over the past eleven years we have raised money for 10,360 wheelchairs and have had the opportunity to personally deliver 9,240 of them on 28 separate trips to 18 countries in Latin America.  It is truly a life changing experience when you are able to lift someone into their new wheelchair.

Since we last wrote to you in October 2015:

  • We delivered 280 wheelchairs to Uruguay in February.
  • We completed the third year of our From the Heart – Schools Project and 37 teachers, students and parents joined us on two distribution trips to Bolivia and Ecuador.
    • The Schools Project has now reached over 60,000 students and 3,000 teachers while raising more than $250,000.
    • More than 100 teachers and students have joined us on seven distribution trips to six countries.
    • In 2017 the From the Heart – Schools Project plans to deliver a container of wheelchairs to both Argentina and Peru.
  • Thanks to your tremendous support we are now in a position to start leveraging our funds and work with partners to deliver even more wheelchairs. In 2016 we:
    • Contributed $10,500 for a container of wheelchairs to Honduras. The Honduran Rotary Club we had worked with in 2014 raised $3,000, the Rotary Club of San Leandro, CA contributed $7,500 and Ken Hofmann (former owner of the Oakland A’s) contributed $21,000.
    • Contributed $21,000 to match the funds raised by the Rotary Club of Trinidad & Tobago for a container delivered to their country.
    • Contributed $21,000 to match the funds raised by the Rotary Club of Pleasanton, CA for a container they will deliver to Peru in 2017.
  • We have also started to extend our fundraising reach by speaking to local Rotary Clubs, church groups, retirement homes and civic organizations. If you are aware of a group that would be interested please let us know.

It seems like a daunting task but we keep chipping away, one wheelchair at a time.   Mobility provides freedom which in turn creates independence, dignity and hope for the future. It is hard for us to describe all of the emotions we have experienced but we know that none of this would have been possible without your generous contributions.

The cost to sponsor each wheelchair remains at $150.  To put this in perspective, a comparable wheelchair in the developing world can cost more than US$1,000 making wheelchairs an unattainable luxury for the vast majority of people. 

Last year 157 of you donated $69,042. Thank you for your incredible generosity! This year we have a stretch goal of $84,000. With your help, Josh and I are hoping to deliver two containers of wheelchairs (560) in Northern Uganda next summer. We have been working with a Member of Parliament (who is disabled) and the Uganda/Rwanda Rotary District Governor. For photos and more information on our Uganda project please contact me at donrouth@comcast.net. (Note: we have been very diligent to insure that there is absolutely no corruption associated with this arrangement and we ask that you trust our judgment)

Josh and I are asking you to help us change people’s lives overnight by giving them the gift of mobility.  Your donation of $75 can be combined with others to buy a wheelchair.  Or you can donate $150 for one wheelchair, $300 for two wheelchairs, $750 for five wheelchairs, etc.  If you can help, please make your check payable directly to “Wheelchair Foundation” and send it to us (preferably by December 31st) at:

Don and Josh Routh
101 Greenwich Ct
San Ramon, CA 94582

You can also make donations via credit card directly on the secure Wheelchair Foundation web site. Just click on this link and complete the required fields.

http://www.wheelchairfoundation.org/give

Please be sure to complete the section that says “I would like to apply my donation to:” by clicking on either “Don & Josh Routh Wheelchair Projects” or “PwC Wheelchair Project”.

Remember that 100% of your contribution goes directly for the program cost of manufacturing and transporting the wheelchairs.  Josh and I, along with our fellow donor-guests pay all of our own expenses (airfare, hotel, meals, etc.) and our hosts in the receiving country (typically Rotary Clubs, Foundations, Ministries of Health, etc.) pay all taxes and tariffs along with the local distribution costs.  Your donations are entirely tax deductible and you will receive a letter of appreciation along with a photo certificate from the Wheelchair Foundation (a 501c3) for tax purposes.  Please contact me about Matching Gifts from your employer.  For Matching Gift purposes it may be necessary to know that the Wheelchair Foundation is a subsidiary of the Behring Global Educational Foundation, a 501c3 (Tax ID # 94-3353881).

As donors you are always welcome to join us on one of our distribution trips. We can promise that it will be a life changing experience…and a lot of fun!

A sincere thank you for your time and your donation,

With Gratitude,

Don and Josh

Don Routh
101 Greenwich Ct
San Ramon, CA 94582
donrouth@comcast.net
www.del-corazon.org
510-517-0363