Support for Wheelchairs for Kids 2019
From humble beginnings in 1966, Wheelchairs for Kids, a project of the Rotary Club of Scarborough, has now grown to where the workshop produces up to 350 wheelchairs a month for disabled children all over the world.
Gordon told us that Wheelchairs for Kids is producing 300-350 wheelchairs per month. 430,000 to date. The chairs are built and distributed to WHO guidelines to 60 countries. it is not just a wheelchair but built for rough terrain, completely adjustable for all sizes and the growing needs of the child. It comes with all possible supports for the large number of recipients with cerebral palsy.
A donation of only $200 gives a child a rough terrain therapeutic wheelchair, with straps for chest waist and feet, special waterproof cushion, a headrest, tray, postural support devices, knee separator, knee rug, basket, soft toy and tool kit.
They can do this because our rent is paid mainly by the state government — they give $50,000 per year and overheads and expenses are donated by Scarborough Rotary, they give $40,000pa - The Christian Brothers - $20,000 plus a vehicle and two anonymous others.
No one at Wheelchairs for Kids is paid and there are about 500 non Rotary mainly retiree, volunteers. 230 in the workshop (with a long waiting list) 70 ladies working at home sewing the colourful covers (we need 2,500 per month) and many all over Australia producing and donating the colourful knee rugs.
The production volunteers work in shifts on four mornings per week and as most daily production is completed by 11.00 am, there is plenty of capacity, depending on income, to produce many more.
As irreparable harm can be done, the distributors are required to sign an undertaking that every wheelchair will be fitted to the child by a trained person. They also pay all freight and distribution costs. However, a number of Rotary Clubs, some in the Eastern States, take this on as a project and accompany the wheelchairs to their destination. The Rotary Club of Wanneroo has financed, accompanied and distributed three shipping containers of wheelchairs.
Finally, they depend on a range of contributors including Rotary Clubs like Karrinyup to keep the project going. It costs $100,000 per month to run the operation and every dollar makes a difference. Without the donors the project would not exist.
Gordon thanked RC Karrinyup for the tremendous support to date saying we had up to now put smiles on the faces of no less than 70 disabled children. Enough to keep the workshop going for a week,
Gordon distributed copies of the latest issue of The Drill and invited everyone to download it from the Wheelchairs website. International Committee member Ken presented Wheelchairs for Kids CEO Gordon with our annual donation.