Free Wheelchair Mission

Rating: 3.91 stars   11 reviews

Issues: Health, International, Religion

Location: 15279 Alton Parkway Ste. 300 Irvine CA 92618 USA

Mission: Our mission is "to provide the transforming gift of mobility to the physically disabled poor in developing countries, as motivated by Jesus Christ."
Results: Since being founded in 2001, Free Wheelchair Mission has given more than 670,000 people the gift of mobility in 86 countries worldwide.
Target demographics: Individuals facing physical challenges in the developing world who cannot otherwise obtain a wheelchair.
Direct beneficiaries per year: In FY2012 we provided 68,200 wheelchairs.
Geographic areas served: FWM operates in 86 countries: for a full overview of where we work you can go to www.freewheelchairmission.org/map
Programs: Free Wheelchair Mission provides wheelchairs to individuals living in the developing world who need a wheelchair, but can't afford one. Our wheelchairs are specially designed to withstand life in rugged rural areas and urban landscapes. We provide wheelchairs to as many people as we are able and we do not deny services based on race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or age.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

FWM was my choice to donate my winnings from a charity 5K that I won. During the run I was thinking about how thankful I am for the ability to run. I wanted to share the amazing gift of mobility to others in developing countries so FWM was the perfect choice. This charity does incredible work and I am proud to support their mission. I like knowing that my donation gave physical wheelchairs and met the personal needs of others. I wish there was a way to rate them higher than 5 stars.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have just read the post below and find it very disingenuous and inaccurate. I have supported Free Wheelchair Mission (with my hard earned $$$) for a number of years and will continue to do so. There appears to be a lack of understanding in the comments below regarding the basic concept behind FWM which is to provide low cost wheelchairs which are low maintenance and designed to withstand the terrain and environment in the destination countries around the world where conditions are so very different to the USA. This approach and innovation has resulted in reaching over 600,000 of the poor disabled to date, against the estimated demand of 100 million, restoring dignity and new opportunities. Thousands of lives have been changed - please read the stories of the impact on their web site and I challenge you not to be moved. The chairs have developed over time while still keeping costs low and check out their Gen2 chair on their web site.
I also take issue with the comment regarding salaries and perhaps if they knew the history of FWM and the years of hardship with no salary to get the the charity off the ground they would think differently both about dollars and heart.
The comment challenging wheelchairs being donated in the name of Jesus is also somewhat difficult to understand. I certainly see my donations (converted to chairs) in that way. These people have a real heart for the poor disabled and are responding to the call to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
I wish the person posting below had taken their own advice and done their research, but more thoroughly.
For my part, keep up the great work FWM and I will continue to support this life changing work.

Was your donation impactful?

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How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

Do your due dilegence before you give your hard-earned $$ to this group. There are FAR better, REAL wheelchairs, less expensive than these plastic lawn chairs to give the globally disabled! In my opinion, these people simply fund their own big over-blown salaries on the backs of the disabled in the developing world. SAD. That they use Jesus name to do it doesn't surprise me necessarily but offends me just the same. Please, do some simple quick research - very easy - and donate to folks who give REAL WHEELCHAIRS of heaven sakes! In my opinon, donor beware absolutely on this one.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Hello and thank you for your feedback. Our wheelchairs are made to the highest standards of quality and durability and are specially designed for the rigors of use throughout the developing world. There is an article available at http://www.medscimonit.com/index.php?/archives/article/869466 if you would like to see the results of field surveys regarding our GEN_1 chairs, and another article involving a follow-up investigation of 600 wheelchair recipients in three different countries was just accepted for publication. Both investigations were conducted by an independent researcher and professor of physical therapy. Our GEN_2 wheelchairs were recently cleared for market in the USA by the FDA, though we have no intentions of selling them. The feedback we receive from our partners in the field is overwhelmingly positive and we are told consistently that our wheelchairs outlast designs contemporary to our own. FWM’s executive salaries are reviewed yearly to make sure that they fall in the median range of our peers in the non-profit field. As to your allegations that we are invoking Christ’s name to somehow profiteer on the backs of the disabled poor in the developing world, that is simply not true. The fact is, this is God’s mission, not ours and we strive to serve others as He served.

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