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Free Wheelchair Mission
is an international faith-based
The term faith-based is a neologism , mostly current in US English, to describe any organization or government idea or plan based on religious beliefs, specifically Christian beliefs....
nonprofit, humanitarian, organization dedicated to providing wheelchairs for the impoverished disabled in developing nations. Working in creative partnership with a network of like-minded humanitarian groups, FWM has sent over 583,000 wheelchairs to over 81 countries around the world, delivering not only the gift of mobility, but one of dignity, independence and hope. Specially designed for use in rugged terrain, the FWM wheelchair combines the durability of a resin lawn chair and the strength of a custom steel frame, all tucked into a sturdy pair of mountain bike tires - and costs less only $63.94 each. This organization was founded in 2001 by Don Schoendorfer, who has a PhD in biomechanical engineering
Biomechanical Engineering is a bioengineering subdiscipline which applies principles of mechanical engineering to biological systems and stems from the scientific discipline of biomechanics. Many cases are related to Biomedical engineering and Agricultural engineering.- Research Groups:...
from MIT. Headquartered in Irvine, California, FWM has over 675 volunteers worldwide. Funding for the wheelchairs are provided by private and public donations including individuals, groups, corporations, churches, universities and foundations. To save on costs and ensure quality control, the wheelchairs are assembled by a pre-approved distribution partner in the country which they will be distributed and given to recipients for free. Right now, the total cost of producing the parts for a wheelchair and shipping them to the place they will be used is around $64.00. Free Wheelchair Mission's goal is to deliver 20 million wheelchairs to developing countries all over the world. Free Wheelchair Mission Founder and President, Donald Schoendorfer, received Above and Beyond Award during Medal of Honor Day on March 25, 2008, at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.