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The Chinese do it faster: Free Wheelchair Mission assembly

Don and Laurie Schoendorfer were vacationing in Morocco  when they witnessed the plight of a disabled woman struggling to drag herself across a dirt road. Ignored by the crowds and barely evading traffic, the woman’s hardship was a scene the couple would be unable to forget upon their return to life in southern California.

The average wheelchair costs thousands of dollars to design, manufacture and deliver. Within the US the cost is already prohibitive; imagine what it costs to ship overseas, especially to the so-called developing countries or those countries where poverty is paramount.

A mechanical engineer and inventor by trade, Don was a Columbia University graduate with a Ph.D. from MIT, working in the biomedical field and responsible for a string of over 50 U.S. patents. Don began researching the global dilemma of disability in developing countries; soon thereafter, he started tinkering in the basement, developed a durable, safe, inexpensive wheelchair, and eventually walked away from a successful career to found the nonprofit organization Free Wheelchair Mission.

The result is a fully functional, rugged wheelchair that costs $59 to manufacture!

For more information about the Free Wheelchair Mission visit their web site at FreeWheelChairMission.org

October 2009 Distribution to China from Free Wheelchair Mission on Vimeo.

1,100 wheelchairs were assembled. Watch two of the Chinese volunteers assemble a wheelchair in 3 minutes!

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3 Responses to “The Chinese do it faster: Free Wheelchair Mission assembly”
  1. BullS says:

    Excellent story-very inspiring.

    There you go folks, someone creating something that someone can really use not like some damn freakin useless domains that what you most selfish me me domainers yak about every single day.

    Get on with the program– there is a bigger life than social networking-someone got to fix your toilet, grow food – you know the tangible products that you and I use.

  2. Lucius "Guns" Fabrice says:

    BullS – I’m glad you approve 🙂 And at $59 dollars each chair costs LESS than a NameJet domain backorder!

    If all domainers bidding on dozens of junk domains contributed to the Free Wheelchair Mission once or twice a year, it’d be for a great cause.

  3. BullS says:

    Someone should create a couple of banners of this organization and put them on their so called high traffic websites.

    For a change, I get to read something refreshing not like the everyday BS of ICaan, who is suing who for trademarks, how freaking BS Seo work, what BS domains are dropping, what you are doing on your self -BS-serving websites, who is twittering what and who gives a F about that B**&^% lidsay Longhan going to jail or what lady gaga wearing…

    You light up my spirit!!!

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