SOURCE: Free Wheelchair Mission

March 14, 2007 11:48 ET

Free Wheelchair Mission and Reader's Digest Partner in 3,000-Mile Cycle for Cause, Ride for Mobility

Nationwide Cycling Trek Starts April 20 in New York

IRVINE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 14, 2007 -- Free Wheelchair Mission and Reader's Digest are partnering to sponsor the first ever Ride for Mobility. Don Schoendorfer and Dr. Mike Bayer, co-founders of Free Wheelchair Mission, will be undertaking a 3,000-mile cross-country cycling trek to provide the transforming gift of mobility to the physically disabled poor in developing countries.

Entitled 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 -- designed and manufactured by Free Wheelchair Mission and delivered all over the world for under $50 per wheelchair. Currently, Free Wheelchair Mission has delivered more than 200,000 wheelchairs in over 65 countries throughout the world.

"Currently there are over 100 million people in the world who are in need of a wheelchair," said Don Schoendorfer. "We're launching Ride for Mobility to help raise enough funds to distribute 15,000 wheelchairs to disabled people in developing countries who do not have the resources and are often times subject to having to crawl on the ground in dangerous and unsanitary conditions."

For the important work he is doing through the Free Wheelchair Mission, Don Schoendorfer was featured as a Reader's Digest Everday Hero. The journey kicks off at Reader's Digest's headquarters in Pleasantville, New York on Friday, April 20, 2007. 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 -- as a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Free Wheelchair Mission.

For those who would like to become actively involved, Free Wheelchair Mission is inviting the public to join Don and Dr. Mike 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.

For more information on the Ride for Mobility, to download a schedule to join Don and Dr. Mike, 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 is a faith-based, non-profit organization based in Irvine, California. Its mission is to "Transform lives through the gift of mobility to the physically disabled poor in developing countries as motivated by Jesus Christ." Its vision is to "Creatively partner with like-minded international humanitarian and indigenous organizations to place 20 million wheelchairs."

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.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Amy Toosley
    Allison & Partners
    Phone: 619/533-7976
    E-mail: Email Contact

    Jonathan Abramson
    Free Wheelchair Mission
    Phone: 949.273.8470 X 207
    E-mail: Email Contact