FBC joins effort to provide wheelchairs for those in need

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Each year, an estimated 75,000 wheelchairs are thrown away in the United States, while 20 million people worldwide desperately need a wheelchair.

“It’s a blessing to help those who don’t have a way to get around. People who are unable to get around can’t help in the ways they would like to in our world today. It’s especially difficult for children who are immobile,” local coordinator Brenda Mooney said.

The First Baptist Church of Andalusia is holding a wheelchair drive on behalf of Wheels for the World throughout the month of October. The church will collect manual, adult, and pediatric wheelchairs and wheelchair footrests.

“We collect all year long, but Alabama has designated awareness for our wheelchair drive to be during October. My husband Duane and I have been to Mexico and Peru and are getting ready to go to Chile for the first time. It’s a dream come true to see the recipients’ faces when they receive a wheelchair and a Bible in their own language. While we have insurance here in America, these citizens around other parts of the world are not as fortunate. The fact we come and boost their spirits makes a difference and brings smiles to their faces. It’s a win-win for everyone who is involved,” she added.

Local citizens can make a difference by providing the gift of mobility to disabled people in countries with few resources. Wheels for the World, a ministry of Joni and Friends, provides a free wheelchair, along with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to children and adults affected by disability.

All wheelchairs collected are transported to Wheels for the World Restoration Centers located in correctional facilities where inmates restore the wheelchairs to like-new condition. The wheelchairs are then shipped to countries around the world with little resources. Teams made up of volunteer physical therapists and wheelchair mechanics then fit each wheelchair to an individual and provide training in the wheelchair’s maintenance.

Team members also present each individual with a Bible and the Gospel message. The gift of mobility and the hope of salvation will change the lives of these individuals and their families forever.

For more information, e-mail Brenda Mooney at chaircorpsbrenda@gmail.com or call her at 334-343-8825. Learn more at joniandfriends.org/chair-corps. Tax-deductible receipts will be provided.

“We get to help adults and children in need who are struggling with everyday life. The children take longer because of their special needs, but the goal remains the same for everyone. We want each person to go away with a fitted chair and know that God loves him or her,” Mooney said.