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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.
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.
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.
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)?
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.
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)
Absolutely not! There is no such test of any type. Each person is of equal value and importance to the team at Wheelchair Angels.
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!
At present, we have asked for no funding from the local, state, or federal government.
Need is always the chief criterion--both physical and financial.
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.
Each child we work with is non-ambulatory. Specific presentations include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spina bifida
- Micro and hydrocephaly
- Traumatic head injury
- Gun shot wounds
- Spinal cord injuries, and many others.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes. We provide training to each recipient, his or her family, and others in their support group.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.