SOURCE: Free Wheelchair Mission
May 01, 2007 14:38 ET
Free Wheelchair Mission and Reader's Digest Kick Off National Bike Month With 3,000-Mile Cross-Country Cycle -- Ride for Mobility
Nationwide Cycling Trek Reaches Mid-Point With More Than $150,000 Raised Toward Goal of Donating 15,000 Wheelchairs to the Disabled Worldwide
IRVINE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 1, 2007 -- Don Schoendorfer and Dr. Mike Bayer are setting
the pace for cyclists nationwide as May, National Bike Month, gets
underway. As the co-founders of Free Wheelchair Mission, they are embarking
on a 3,000-mile cross-country cycling trek to provide thousands of disabled
people in developing countries with the transforming gift of mobility. With
Reader's Digest as a media sponsor, they have already raised $150,000 to
purchase 3,378 wheelchairs since the journey's April 20 kick off at the
publication's headquarters in Pleasantville, New York.
Titled Ride for Mobility, the grassroots educational and fundraising
campaign was developed to help spread Free Wheelchair Mission's message
throughout the country and to raise funds to purchase 15,000 wheelchairs.
The wheelchairs, comprised of a resin lawn chair, metal tubing and bicycle
tires, are designed and manufactured by Free Wheelchair Mission and
delivered all over the world for under $50. Currently, Free Wheelchair
Mission has delivered more than 200,000 wheelchairs in more than 65
countries throughout the world.
For those who would like to become actively involved, Free Wheelchair
Mission is inviting the public to join Schoendorfer and Bayer on their
cross-country cycling trek, which will take them from New York City to New
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, New
Mexico, Arizona, and conclude in Newport Beach, California on June 16.
"National Bike Month is the perfect time for cycling enthusiasts to hit the
road to help others share the gift of mobility," said Schoendorfer. "There
are millions of disabled people in developing countries who are often
subject to crawling on the ground in dangerous and unsanitary conditions.
The gift of mobility elevates the disabled in body, mind and spirit."
During the campaign, individuals interested in following the trek can log
on to the Reader's Digest Web site, www.rd.com, to view daily streaming
video and/or purchase a subscription to the publication. A portion of the
proceeds will be donated to Free Wheelchair Mission.
For more information on the Ride for Mobility, to download a schedule to
join Schoendorfer and Bayer, to make a donation, or to become a fund raiser
for the Ride, log on to www.ride4mobility.org. For more information on Free
Wheelchair Mission go to www.freewheelchairmission.org.
Editor's note: A full itinerary of the journey and cities is available upon
request. Photos, B-roll are also available.
About Free Wheelchair Mission
There are more than 100 million disabled people in the developing world who
have no access to wheelchairs due to poverty and economic isolation. Denied
this most basic means of mobility, some crawl on the ground, subjecting
themselves to dangerous, unsanitary conditions in order to maintain their
independence. Others spend most of their lives in isolation, confined to a
single room and dependent on family members to meet their most basic needs.
The Free Wheelchair Mission provides wheelchairs at no cost to the disabled
in the developing world. It has contracted with manufacturers in China to
produce a basic but sturdy wheelchair using widely available parts. The
wheelchair is designed to be shipped efficiently and assembled easily. The
average cost to manufacture, ship, and distribute one of its chairs is
under $50, an extraordinarily modest investment that changes the lives of
the disabled and their families.
About Reader's Digest
Reader's Digest reaches 40 million readers in the U.S. each month. The
magazine celebrates the best of humanity, and delivers a compelling mix of
special reporting, humor, personal service, and human-interest stories.
Reader's Digest is published in 21 languages and 50 editions worldwide. The
company's main web site is at www.rd.com.