It all began on vacation in 1977.

Don and Laurie Schoendorfer were in Morocco when they witnessed a woman crawling across a bustling dirt road, pulling herself forward by her fingertips. This image would haunt Don long after his return.

He decided to do something about it.

The needs are great.

A biomedical engineer, Don began to look into the matter and estimated that 100 million people in developing nations are in need of a wheelchair but do not have the means to obtain one. This lack of mobility can cause further health issues, restrict children from going to school, and create more economic hardships on the family.

Engineering a solution: the GEN_1 Wheelchair

Don began to design an inexpensive, durable wheelchair that could be maintained and repaired with parts readily available in almost any part of the world.

Using resin lawn chairs, metal frames, and mountain bike tires, Don constructed 100 wheelchairs in his garage and set out to find partners who could distribute them to those who needed them most.

Free Wheelchair Mission was born.

The first four wheelchairs were given away in Chennai, India. Since then, over one million wheelchairs have been distributed in 93 countries. That’s over one million lives transformed, thanks to the united endeavors of our distribution partners and supporters worldwide.

Celebrate with us.

Join us in celebrating this major milestone at the Miracle of Mobility gala on July 13th at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. Not only will there be four special guests from Jamaica, El Salvador, Uganda, and Vietnam, sharing firsthand what a difference a wheelchair has made in their lives, Free Wheelchair Mission will also reveal the millionth wheelchair recipient. You won’t want to miss this.

One million down. Ninety-nine million to go.

Together, we have come this far, and together, we can go even further. Would you continue partnering with us to give away the next million?



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