Celebrate One Million Lives Changed With Free Wheelchair Mission At Denver's Belong Church
Powerful new documentary, 'Because No One Should Have to Crawl,' chronicles one-million-wheelchair journey
Held at Belong Church, a highlight of the campaign is the screening of the new documentary, "Because No One Should Have to Crawl," narrated by Sam Waterston, best-known for his role on the TV show Law & Order. The documentary is part of the award-winning public television series "Visionaries,"
Some of the Free Wheelchair Mission's strongest and longest-run support comes from it's Denver ambassadors, including John and Barbara Brant of Branzan Advisors, and patrons of Trinity United Methodist Church. Over the years, the Brant's have led numerous ministry projects in Mexico. Seeing first hand the poverty in developing countries, they got involved with Free Wheelchair Mission to help give even more back to those communities. In 2007, they brought the torch to Denver by partnering with Trinty United Methodist to grow more support from the church's congregation. Since then, these strong area supporters have helped raise $167,891, or 2,519 wheelchairs to people in need. Now the church is paying it forward again by extending the partnership and mission with Belong Church.
Free Wheelchair Mission began in 2001 in founder Don Schoendorfer's garage, as the entrepreneur sought an innovative solution to the growing need for mobility in the developing world. Currently, an estimated 70 million people need a wheelchair but cannot afford one, leaving people without means to go to school, work, or care for themselves. Many are left to crawl on the ground as their means of transportation.
Schoendorfer, an engineer by trade, found a way to build a wheelchair that could withstand the rugged terrain of developing countries, is easy to care for, yet costs just $80 for the organization to produce and deliver. Thanks to a strong network of supporters and global distributors, all recipients receive the wheelchair as a gift at no cost to them.
The documentary film includes dramatic footage. The scenes elicit both tears of sadness and tears of joy as it chronicles the organization's journey through the years of delivering wheelchairs around the world. The documentary concludes with the grand finale — a trip to Peru this past summer to give the millionth wheelchair to a 12-year-old girl who desperately needed mobility due to an illness that left her mentally and physically impaired.
As Free Wheelchair Mission celebrates the millionth milestone, there are no plans to slow down. Their goal is to deliver its next million wheelchairs by 2025, half the time it took to give out the first million. The 1 Million for 1 Million campaign kicked off in Prescott, Ariz. and traveled to Madison, Conn.; Orange County, Calif.; and Boston, Mass. More cities will be added to the tour through spring 2018. Each city was selected because of its concentration of supporters, many tied to churches and ambassadors that have provided both funds and volunteer help to the organization over the years.
The 1 Million for 1 Million campaign invites individuals to transform the life of one of the world's neediest people – those living with disabilities in the developing world. Schoendorfer believes that the dramatic, real-life stories showcased in the new documentary will inspire viewers to give the gift of mobility. The campaign is based on a simple premise: if one million individuals become inspired, they will be empowered to transform one million lives, one wheelchair at a time.
Join Free Wheelchair Mission's tour stop in Denver, Colo.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
7:00 p.m. Film screening followed by an intimate Q&A with Don Schoendorfer
Belong Church, 1615 Ogden Street, Denver, CO 80206
Attendance is free to the public with RSVP: http://bit.ly/
Media interested in attending please RSVP to Delaine Moore at email@example.com.
About Free Wheelchair Mission:
Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM) is a humanitarian, faith-based, nonprofit organization that provides wheelchairs at no cost to people with disabilities living in developing nations. In collaboration with a network of like-minded partners, Free Wheelchair Mission has provided more than one million wheelchairs to those living with a disability in 93 developing nations since 2001, providing dignity, independence, and hope through the gift of mobility. Learn more at freewheelchairmission.org.