The American Wheelchair Mission is a non-profit 501(c)3organization whose mission is to deliver brand new free wheelchairs and mobility aids to physically disabled children, teens and adults throughout the world who are without mobility and lack the means to acquire such devices. Since 2003 Knights of Columbus have sponsored the delivery of over 50,000 brand new wheelchairs throughout the world. The American Wheelchair Mission estimates that there are over 100 million people, world-wide, who need and cannot afford a wheelchair. It is further estimated that, on average, when you consider family, friends, teachers, employers and others, for every wheelchair delivered the lives of about 10 people are impacted in a very positive way. This extraordinary program, embraced first by Knights in California, is now one of our Supreme Council’s “Featured 8” programs.

The Knights of Columbus and the The American Wheelchair Mission have teamed up to help bring wheelchairs to those who lack freedom of mobility.  CLICK HERE for Knights of Columbus donation form. This is a Supreme “Featured” program and is the only featured program that is global in its outreach.

The American Wheelchair Mission manufactures wheelchairs in bulk and delivers them by full sea containers around the world.

They are distributed with the help of numerous non-governmental organizations; such as: Caritas International, Rotary, Lions Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, and the Knights of Columbus.

In 2003, the Knights of Columbus began participating in the Global Wheelchair Mission by sponsoring 2,000 wheelchairs which were distributed in Afghanistan. Since then, Knights in the U.S. and Canada have sponsored the distribution of over 60,000 wheelchairs in countries all over the world; including: Africa, Argentina, Bahamas, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, the Holy Land, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Oman, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, the United States and Vietnam.

For every donation of $150 received by the American Wheelchair Mission, a brand new wheelchair can be delivered to someone in need, which would cost over $500 in a medical supply store. A wheelchair provides the poorest of the poor with hope and answers the prayers of the recipient and his/her family and friends.

The wheelchairs are shipped in containers of 100 to 280 wheelchairs each directly from the factory to the destination countries at no cost to the recipients.

Councils, assemblies, and circles are encouraged to promote this program to their membership, inviting personal consideration, as well as implementing this as an ongoing charitable event. Since 2007 Knights have participated in a very successful fundraising program called, “Wheelchair Sunday”.  CLICK HERE for information on the “Wheelchair Sunday” program.

CLICK HERE for the Global Wheelchair Mission Supreme annual Report Form #10071.

WHEELCHAIR SUNDAY PARISH DRIVES

A “Wheelchair Sunday” is where representatives from The American Wheelchair Mission make presentations of about 10 minutes (including a video of about 4 minutes) during every weekend Mass (preferably after the Homily) and a second collection is asked.  Parishioners have thanked their Pastors for bringing this wonderful mission to their church. This program also provides an example of the charitable work that Knights of Columbus are doing and many Catholic gentlemen have joined the Knights after witnessing this extraordinary program.

One of the most common and wonderful comments we receive from the recipients of the wheelchairs, and their families, is that we have just answered their prayers. Tears of joy flow with a heartfelt embrace or clasp of hands, and we know we are doing God’s work here on earth.

For people with physical disabilities a wheelchair means that children are able to go to school, adults can to work and provide for their families and the elderly can get of a bed they may have been confined in for many years. A person can do something as simple as to sit at the family dinner table (these things we take for granted every day).

To learn more about how you can hold a Wheelchair Sunday parish drive at your church, or for other information please contact Brother Dan Moberg at dmoberg@amwheelchair.org  or Louis Salvatore at programs@californiaknights.org or visit the American Wheelchair Mission’s website at:   www.amwheelchair.org

Louis Salvatore
American Wheelchair Mission
California State Chairman;
programs@californiaknights.org