The non-profit and tax exempt organization, Hope Haven West, gives a wide range of services to families, children and adults without any charge. They have no expenses having to pay out nothing for promotion, advertising, salaries, or administrative fees. All services are made available solely through that of donations and volunteers.
They take in old wheelchairs in need of repair, refurbish and then distribute them to those needing them in developing countries. They also distribute brand new pediatric wheel chairs. It is amazing to learn that over 300,000 wheelchairs are laying around in people's garages and closets with another 100,000 going to landfills across the United States.
In Central California, companies like Rotary District 5220, Davis Guest Homes and Hope West started a collection site in 2001. Volunteers, some senior citizens, give of their time utilizing their expertise in building and refurbishing these chairs for those who need them.
Kidchairs are a sturdy type of wheelchair designed by pediatric therapists and is a part of the Hope Haven West's available wheelchairs. They are made with several adjustments and options for children with light to severe postural issues. They are constructed by chair-bound adults in the Hope Haven factory in Guatemala. This was founded by grants through The Rotary Foundation. Senior citizens work on them at the Hope Haven workshop in Ireta, Iowa.
Teams that donate all their time and pay their own expenses travel to the countries receiving these services. They are supervised by professionals who are knowledgeable in the different areas needed to make this endeavor a reality. Rehabilitation technology suppliers along with occupational and physical therapists work together to form wheelchairs that meet both the environmental and physical needs of the recipient.
In North Dakota more than 80 inmates at two different prisons who work to refurbish the wheelchairs. They produce chair components that are used in Hope Haven's outreach centers. They also built a unique reclining wheelchair for those children who need this type of mobility. When asked why these inmates do this work they answer that this gives children freedom, which is something many of them will never experience.