Ambassador for Mobility: Lila Lehtola (pictured right, her friend and co-organizer Ally Ryder in the bandana on the left)

 Location: Dallas, Texas

Background:  Lila has been an active collegiate Ambassador for Free Wheelchair Mission since September 2009. She discovered the issue of global disability after her mom told her stories from a medical mission trip she went on to Honduras. She told Lila the sad stories about people crawling to the hospital, and women at the clinic with back problems from carrying their children vast distances to the clinic because their child didn’t have the wheelchair they needed. After a friend mentioned Free Wheelchair Mission, Lila and her mom researched Free Wheelchair Mission together. They felt the chairs seemed practical and cost efficient, and they decided to create a project to fund a container for Honduras and to help distribute them.

The Story: Lila is an avid athlete and runner, so she decided to hold a Walk 4 Wheels to benefit FWM. The event was held on September 17th. Participants paid $10 to register and $15 for a t-shirt to join in the walk. There were about 40 participants, and together they raised $1,800.

Her fundraising activities have included “countless bake sales, garage sales, and what we call dress down days at our school where we pay a small fee to wear non-uniform clothes to school and the donation is then given to FWM”.  In April 2011, Lila and her mother organized a golf tournament, and was highlighted for her work for FWM. The golf tournament raised $11,600.

Lila’s Passion: “My mom told me of people she saw crawling to get to the hospital because they couldn’t walk. This utterly broke my heart because, right before I had this talk with my mom, I had gone on a run and I realized that these children could never run, even if they wanted to.”

Lives Transformed to Date: over 325

Bonus: all Walk 4 Wheels donations came in just in time to be included in FWM’s October Matching Gift Challenge!