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Dec 7, 2009

Over 200 wheelchairs donated to needy Belizeans

Story PictureThe Wheelchair Foundation and Wines for Wheels in California have donated over eight hundred thousand wheelchairs in a hundred and fifty-four countries worldwide. And with a gift of over two hundred handed over today, more than one thousand of those chairs have been gifted to Belize. News Five’s Delahnie Bain attended the handing over ceremony and has this report.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting
Two hundred and ten Belizeans are receiving the gift of mobility by way of a collaborative effort between the California based Wines for Wheels and Wheelchair Foundation along with Belize’s Rotary Club. Forty-eight supporters flew in to personally deliver the wheelchairs.

Jeff Behring, Volunteer, Wheelchair Foundation
“A group of mine, Wines for Wheels, we got together about eight or nine years ago and we started raising funds for the Wheelchair Foundation. A good friend of mine who has a place on Ambergris Caye, decided hey we’d love to give some wheelchairs for Belize. So back in July we started a funding campaign and a lot of the people here provided funds for the container of over a hundred wheelchairs which we brought today.”

Francis Woods, Rotarian in Charge of Wheelchair Distribution
“We are doing about fifteen deliveries this afternoon. We’re gonna break up into three groups and do actual home deliveries for those who couldn’t make it out at all.”

Delahnie Bain
“And the recipients are from where? All Belize City?”

Francis Woods
“No, we have them from countrywide; all over the country we have calls coming in from and we will have the rotary clubs of the different districts doing the distributions in that particular district. This group that brought the wheelchairs will be going to Caye Caulker tomorrow and doing a distribution and on Wednesday they will be doing a distribution in San Pedro.”

Approximately twenty of the recipients attended this morning’s handing over ceremony and they were grateful for the much needed assistance.

Jennifer Rivero, Wheelchair Recipient
“I had one yes, but it got old so when I saw this announcement I was so happy and I decided that I would phone in and ask and they obliged me and I am so blessed by that.”

Neville Maheia, Wheelchair Recipient
“I needed on for the last six months so I am thankful that these guys could have afforded me a new wheelchair.”

CJ Young, Wheelchair Recipient
“I feel good and I appreciate what they have given me. It feels good going to a good high school in a wheelchair because you show people that you can do things that they can do as well.”

Francis Woods
“If you can sit down in a chair and you just can’t move, then you’ll understand what it’s like to be totally immobile. With these wheelchairs, a person has the freedom to go down the street, go around the yard especially these particular wheelchairs because these have rough terrain tires which are like bicycle tires; easy to repair and they go through sand, go through rougher areas quite easily. But the gift of mobility is just… there’s no words to explain that.”

Today’s donation is the fourth set of wheelchairs gifted to Belize by the two organizations over the past eight years. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

Volunteer, Jeff Behring, says that although they managed to fund over two hundred wheelchairs, financing has been harder to obtain during the economic recession.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Over 200 wheelchairs donated to needy Belizeans”

  1. Alex Calvo says:

    My wife and I are going to Belize, I am in an motorized w/chair and I am also bringing a perfectly working manual w/chair just in case. I would like to leave the manual w/chair behind and donate it to some in need. If you have anyone in mind, we are able to give you the chair on January 22nd, the day we leave Belize. Please let us know what we can do…


    Alex and Julie Calvo

  2. BZNinCALI says:

    @Alex Calvo, the 9 year old girl who was left paralyzed after being shot last year attends to Grace Primary School. There was an article about the difficulty her mother has logistically when she drops her off. Considering how much it rains in Belize, having a chair at the school would be an asset to them & her. Thank you.

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