The Wheelchair Foundation was established in 2000 by Bay Area philanthropist Kenneth E. Behring. The goal of the organization is to provide wheelchairs to as many of the estimated 130 million people who need them worldwide.
Behring, a real estate developer and former owner of the Seattle Seahawks football team, contributed $15 million to the organization and will match any donation of $75 to purchase a $150 wheelchair.
The foundation has delivered 130,000 wheelchairs to over 100 countries and aims to deliver 5 million wheelchairs in the next five years.
In Berkeley, a great deal of fund raising for the Wheelchair Foundation has been organized by Iranian developer Soheyl Modarressi, who is the president of Oxford Development and founder of the Persian Center.
Modarressi has helped raised enough money to send nearly 1,600 wheelchairs to Iran, where the need is great, largely due to that country’s 10-year war with Iraq in the 1980s.
For more information about the Wheelchair Foundation call (877) 378-3839 or visit their Web site at www.wheelchairfoundation.org.