Celebrate One Million Lives Changed with Free Wheelchair Mission at Mercer Island Community Center

Powerful Documentary, "Because No One Should Have to Crawl," Chronicles One-Million-Wheelchair Journey

Irvine, CA, September 07, 2018 --(PR.com)-- Free Wheelchair Mission brings its 1 Million for 1 Million campaign to Seattle, October 6, as part of a tour to supporters in cities across the nation in celebration of last summer’s major milestone - distributing one million wheelchairs to people in need in 93 countries around the world since 2001. The humanitarian, faith-based organization provides durable and adaptable wheelchairs at no cost to people with little to no mobility in developing nations.

Held at Mercer Island Community Center, a highlight of the campaign is the screening of the 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 The Visionaries, now in its 22nd season, which highlights rarely told stories of non-profit organizations around the world that make a positive difference in their community and beyond.

Some of the Free Wheelchair Mission’s strongest and longest-run support comes from Seattle. Including Ron Johnson of AstraZeneca; George Duff, former president of the Seattle Area Chamber of Commerce; Donna Palmberg; Walt Thelma Ritchie; and Greg Asimakoupoulos, Chaplain of Covenant Shores. The support is widespread as this group has helped connect FWM to more than 20 churches, as well as, thousands in the community and many local businesses. They have held countless fundraising events throughout the years, including an annual event held by Johnson at Evergreen Covenant Church. Each year, they raise more than $100,000, helping to send 1,250 wheelchairs to people in need.

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, a tire pump, a wrench, a tire repair kit, and a manual 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 has traveled to Madison, Conn.; Orange County, Calif.; and Boston, Mass; Denver, Houston and Chicago. Upcoming screenings, in addition to this Oct. 6th screening in Seattle, include: Los Angeles (Nov. 14th) and New York City (Dec. 5th). 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 Seattle, Washington.

Saturday, October 6, 2018
6:00 p.m. Wine, Appetizers, and Documentary screening followed by an intimate Q&A with Don Schoendorfer

Mercer Island Community Center, Mercer Room
8236 SE 24th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040

Attendance is free to the public with RSVP: https://bit.ly/2BYqOge

Media interested in attending please RSVP to Jennifer Walker – jwalker@freewheelchairmission.org.

About Free Wheelchair Mission
Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM) is a humanitarian, faith-based, non-profit 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 renewed dignity, independence, and hope through the gift of mobility.

Learn more at freewheelchairmission.org.
Free Wheelchair Mission
Jennifer Walker