Local collect 65 wheelchairs for world effort

Published 1:52 am Wednesday, August 15, 2018

After teaching special needs children for more than 20 years and traveling to Mexico to give wheelchairs to less fortunate people, Covington County native Brenda Mooney decided to organize a Wheels for the World effort in Covington County.

“My daughter was born with spina bifida and I taught special needs for more than 20 years,” Mooney said. “So my daughter and I decided to collect wheelchairs for Wheels for the World and then went to Mexico to see them distributed. After seeing that, I knew that I wanted to come back to the U.S. and keep on doing it.”

This year, Mooney has collected 65 wheelchairs to be sent to a prison-based restoration center in Tennessee.

Mooney said that this could not have been done without the help of the community and Wal-Mart.

“Wal-Mart has paid for all of the transportation of the wheelchairs,” Mooney said. “And this isn’t about me, I have had all the help in the world from several people in the community. I could not have done it without them.”

Wheels for the World exists to serve the 20 million people around the world who need a wheelchair. Throughout the U.S., volunteers collect used but serviceable wheelchairs.

Donated chairs are then restored to like-new condition by inmates in select U.S. correctional facilities and then shipped to developing nations where the Wheels for the World team fit each wheelchair to its recipients.

People with disabilities also receive a Bible in their language.

In 2017, 13,595 wheelchairs were restored and sent to people in need in other countries.

“It truly is a blessing to be able to help someone in need,” Mooney said. “People have been great to give us their throwaways. It just goes to show you that things can indeed be reborn.”

Mooney said that she usually has a drive in October and people can still donate until then.

For more information or to donate a used wheelchair, contact Mooney at 334-343-8825.