Coming from a nation that Handicapped accessibility is law, makes it very hard for us to even fathom that literally hundreds of thousands in Vietnam alone have to either crawl or depend on someone to move them. Even things we take for granted are impossible without assistance.
I have personally lifted men without legs into their first wheelchair. I cannot find words to express the felling it is to see a man smile and get a glimmer of hope in their eye. That maybe just maybe now they can go out and find a way to work. To have them reach out and squeeze my arms. Though we do not speak the same language the gratitude is overwhelming.
The countless I have met who have not been outside in years and the biggest things they could think of doing was just to go outside and feel the sun on their skin. Or the man who when I asked what will do first. He smiled at me, got a faraway look in his eyes and said I will wheel down to the river and sit by “myself” for the first time in many years! I realized that everywhere he has been he has had to be with someone at his side. Everywhere he went he depended on someone to carry him!
I could go on and on with story after story of the impact Free Wheelchair Mission has on lives of the disabled all around the world. But one thing I don’t hear talked about is the huge impact it has on organizations like us who work in Vietnam. The wheelchairs have opened doors and given us great favor with the Government. With this favor we have been able to do so many other cutting edge programs!
Thank you Don Schoendorfer and all the terrific and committed staff of Wheelchair Mission
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Gosh! What a wonderful vision. If I did not lead GIBTK I would do everything I could to serve for FreeWheelChair Misson. Honestly they run a tight ship. All the staff I work with has been wonderful and has a heart for what they do. Nothing in the way of changes for the organization!
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It has opened doors for us to do our other programs in Vietnam. Because of the wheelchairs we have meet Govt. Authorities all over Vietnam and many have now become friends. It is a lot eaiser to get things done if you have to go to friends for the approvals.
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