As many as 100 million people worldwide may need a wheelchair and don’t have access to one. Only 1 in 100 can afford to purchase a wheelchair. To be mobile, people with disabilities often rely on family and friends to carry them from place to place. It can be extremely difficult just to leave home. Going to school or getting a job may be impossible dreams.
To help, the Church partners with community organizations serving the disabled. The local partner assesses clients, prescribes a device, and follows up with therapy and support. The Church donates wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, cushions, and other assistive devices – sometimes purchased from local workshops. When requested, teams of therapists give additional technical training to the partner.
Since 2001, the Church has distributed more than 300,000 wheelchairs in 112 countries.
In 2009, the Church distributed more than 50,000 wheelchairs in 56 countries, including
Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’ Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Malaysia, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Sudan, Swaziland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, and Vietnam.