RWC gift aids Wheels for the World

IRVINGTON—Every year more than 75,000 wheelchairs are thrown away in the U.S., while 20 million disabled people around the world desperately need a wheelchair.

Rappahannock Westminister-Canterbury (RWC) in Irvington recently purchased a fleet of new wheelchairs for their residents and donated 22 of their old wheelchairs along with walkers, seat cushions and two boxes of wheelchair parts to Wheels for the World, a program of Joni and Friends International Disability.

Wheels for the World chair corps representative Carolyn Costello accepted the donations from RWC occupational therapist Jennifer Hinton. The equipment will be transported to a Wheels for the World Restoration Center at a correctional facility in Tennessee where inmate volunteers restore the wheelchairs and mobility equipment to like-new condition.

The equipment is then transported to U.S. ports for shipping to developing countries around the world. Teams of volunteer occupational and physical therapists, mechanics and translators then fit each wheelchair to a recipient and provide training in use and maintenance, said Costello. Team members also provide each recipient with a Bible in their language and present the gospel message.

In 2014 Wheels for the World presented the 100,000th wheelchair to Ebenezer, a child in Africa. The goal is to present another 100,000 chairs by 2020.

To make a donation, email Costello at challcostello@gmail.com.