I pray that you and your loved ones are staying safe during these challenging times.
The Free Wheelchair Mission staff has been staying healthy, with all of our staff working remotely since March 11th and keeping in close contact through the blessing of wonderful technologies like Slack (messaging) and Zoom (video conferencing).
With COVID-19 affecting just about every part of the globe in some way, we continue to monitor state and federal guidelines for social distancing and modify plans for upcoming in-person events accordingly.
Thankfully, our factory resumed production of our wheelchairs in February and started loading wheelchair containers for shipment on March 21st, with the first container destined for Kenya.
The work of our distribution partners in their respective countries has become both more challenging and more crucial than ever. While each country has seen varying levels of impact from COVID-19, all of us, worldwide, will be impacted in some way.
We have been working closely with these partners around the world, monitoring the impact of COVID-19 in each country while providing safety guidance, encouragement, and prayer for the protection of their staff and, importantly, all whom we collectively serve.
For example, we have been sharing guidance from the WHO, our own experts, and other trusted sources on how our partners and wheelchair recipients can keep wheelchairs clean, along with other COVID-19 precautions specific to those with disabilities.
With various COVID-19 guidelines in place around the world, our partners will shift, where possible, to delivering wheelchairs to individuals in their homes, following all necessary safety precautions to avoid spreading the virus.
Wheelchairs distributed during these times will help their recipients be able to mobilize to wash their hands at a water source (not everyone has running water inside their homes), maintain social distancing, and access medical care when needed.
In addition to our wheelchairs, we, along with our partners, are responding to the COVID-19 crisis by providing medical supplies and mobility aids such as masks, gloves, needles, syringes, along with mobility-assistance devices such as walkers and canes.
“In the crisis caused by COVID-19, these kinds of supplies have become extremely limited,” said one of our partners in El Salvador, “but thanks to the (Free Wheelchair Mission) donation that you generously sent us last year, our doctors have the protection to carry out their activities.”
Some of our partners are medical missions and will be using these supplies as they provide treatment and care in their communities. Please keep their staff and those they serve in your prayers!
Would you also prayerfully consider helping us continue to provide our distribution partners with essential supplies such as masks, gloves, needles, syringes, blankets, and more, in addition to mobility-assistance devices including wheelchairs, walkers, and canes, through the Medical and Mobility Emergency Fund?
We know that the needs are great everywhere, including here in our own country, but this pandemic has shown us that we’re all in this together, wherever we are.
What happens in one part of the world affects us all, and conversely, the actions of one can make a difference in the world. While we have the ability to “shelter at home”, shop, store food in a freezer, receive telemedicine, and socialize online, these are luxuries for many people worldwide who must survive on far less resources.
We continue to pray for all of you, your families, our partners and their staff and families, and especially the children and adults we serve around the world.
Thank you for joining us on our mission, even through difficult times.
Founder and President
Free Wheelchair Mission