FAQ

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Why wheelchairs?

Here are but a few of the reasons we distribute wheelchairs.

  • A specialized wheelchair that is properly fit can be lifesaving.
  • A specialized seating wheelchair means increased mobility in a part of the world that has challenging terrain.
  • A specialized wheelchair increases independence.
  • A specialized wheelchair is not readily available as resources are greatly limited.
Why West Bank, Palestinian Authorities and other Regions of the Middle East?

Perhaps the most direct answer is that the Lord touched the founders’ hearts with the disability needs of children in the West Bank, Palestinian Authorities. Each readily professes a love for these children – Jewish, Muslim, and Christian children alike.

 

How many wheelchairs has Wheelchair Angels given out?

Since its founding, the organization has contributed more than 1,200 wheelchairs. We anticipate a large-scale increase in the next few years– simply to meet the demand.

Wheelchair Angels is a 501(c)(3). What does that mean?

In its simplest, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit designation means that the federal government recognizes that we provide a valuable service that another entity cannot provide at a profit. Conceding this, the IRS grants us tax exemptness (we can make tax-free purchases) and allows donors to make tax-deductible contributions to our organization. If interested in learning more, here’s a great article you might find interesting. What is a 501(c)(3)?

Is Rescuing the Handicapped Children the Same as Wheelchair Angels International?

Yes, Rescuing the Handicapped Children is the same Non-Profit Organizaiton  as Wheelchair Angels.  Wheelchair Angels International  and Rescuing the Handicapped Children are DBA's of Wheelchair Angels.

What does it mean that WCAI is faith based?

As a faith-based organization, we acknowledge that we are Christ followers. Further, we proclaim that the motivation for what we do lies in our gratefulness for what our Lord has done for each of us. “ Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (I John 3:18 NLT)

Does your organization differentiate recipients by ethnicity, religious creed, and the like?

Absolutely not! There is no such test of any type. Each person is of equal value and importance to the team at Wheelchair Angels.

How do you get your financial donations?

Historically, nearly all of our donations have come from individual contributions and in-kind donations although we've recently added some exciting new ways to give. Check us out!

Do you get any funding from the federal government?

At present, we have asked for no funding from the local, state, or federal government.

How do you decide who is eligible for a wheelchair?

Need is always the chief criterion--both physical and financial. 

Do you require families to pay for wheelchairs?

No one is required to pay for any service we provide although we do ask all families to help with costs for custom modifications to the wheelchairs—if they have the ability to do so. As you might imagine, most do not. 

What type of disabilities and illnesses do the children typically present with?

Each child we work with is non-ambulatory. Specific presentations include:

  1. Cerebral palsy
  2. Muscular dystrophy
  3. Spina bifida
  4. Micro and hydrocephaly
  5. Traumatic head injury
  6. Gun shot wounds
  7. Spinal cord injuries, and many others.
How do you find eligible recipients?

That is never a problem as the demand for help always greatly exceeds our capacity to respond. Most recipients find us although various organizations, notably Lifegate Rehabilitation, actively partner both in sending referrals and providing care. 

Do you provide anything other than wheelchairs?

Yes we do. For example, we provide gait trainer walking devices, bedside commodes, shower commode chairs, manual hospital beds, standing frames, shower/bath chairs—to name but a few.

Can I designate my contribution to go to a specific country?

We do not accept designations to specific countries as we must make sure sufficient dollars are available for where we determine the need to be greatest.

Do you distribute wheelchairs in the United States?

We do not provide wheelchairs outside of Israel and the Middle East. That said, if you or someone you know needs a free or reduced-cost wheelchair, please contact us and we will provide the names of organizations that might be able to help you.

How do you distribute wheelchairs?

When it first began, Wheelchair Angels Int'l conducted multiple wheelchair distributions throughout the region. Local professionals (physical and occupational therapists) referred their clients to our program and helped to organize the distributions. A team from the United States then traveled to the region to do the distribution. Additionally, our in-country professional team assists other NGO's in distributing their wheelchairs throughout the region.

Today, with our in-country representative, we now prefer to see wheelchair recipients one at a time. This gives us the opportunity we need to appropriately build our custom-fitted wheelchairs.

Do you train recipients on how to use/care for the donated wheelchair?

Yes. We provide training to each recipient, his or her family, and others in their support group.

Do you provide follow-up?

Absolutely—quarterly follow-up is part of the uniqueness that makes Wheelchair Angels the effective, care-giving organization that it is. Not only does WAI recruit and train local therapists to help with the process but it also networks extensively to deliver critical aftercare services. One of our great partners (and most critical linkage) is Lifegate Rehabilitation in Beit Jala. Ours is anything but a one-touch service.

How do you get your wheelchairs? Can you buy them in-country?

The cost to purchase a wheelchair in-country (if even available) is nearly prohibitive! We must, therefore, ship our product to the Middle East. Fortunately, Hope Haven, an Iowa based rehabilitation nonprofit has been a vital partner in our ministry. Hope Haven refurbishes wheelchairs that we can purchase for a fraction of the cost were we to buy new.

What is the cost of shipping?

Shipping is a significant cost (approximately $8,000 for each container of wheelchairs) so we are always exploring new ways to deliver our product more efficiently.

What is the cost of a wheelchair to your organization?

At present, our direct cost per wheelchair is approximately $300—and that’s for high quality wheelchairs that would cost upwards of $5,000 each if purchased new.

Can I donate an old wheelchair to you?

We are currently exploring the means for picking up used wheelchairs from all points in the contiguous U.S. Please contact us if you have a wheelchair to donate. Hopefully we will be ready to accept your gracious offer.

How long does one of your wheelchairs last?

Our chairs are high quality and have a useful life of approximately 10 years. How long they will actually last, however, depends on a number of factors not the least of which is the weight and/or extent of disability of the recipient. To the level of our ability, we will help with wheelchair repairs, which can extend useful life.

What happens if one of the chairs breaks?

We will replace the wheelchair if at all possible. We’re in it for the long term with our Littlest Angels and are invested in their success.

I want to do more than donate. What can I do?

What you can do to help depends on where you live, the type(s) of activities you’re passionate about, and whether you are able to travel to the Middle East. Please download our Volunteer Application, then send to us and we will be in touch with how you too can partner with the team at Wheelchair Angels.

How can my church and civic group get involved?

Your financial contributions are very encouraging and always welcomed. It is only through such partnerships that we are able to change the life of a physically disabled child in the developing world. Please contact us if you want to get involved.