Reaching out to every person who needs a wheelchair but doesn't have access to one requires a lot of effort and money. But to Kenneth Behring, who has access to both, it was all worth it. And because of his passion to help, his generosity and his kindness, the Wheelchair Foundation was founded, and what this organization does is truly inspiring.
Kenneth Behring is the former owner of the NFL’s (National Football League) Seattle Seahawks, a real-estate developer and a philanthropist. He started as a salesperson at a Chrysler and Chevrolet auto dealership. Although he is known for his businesses, achievements and assets, Behring had humble beginnings.
He was born in Freeport, Illinois but his family moved to Wisconsin when he was barely four years old. His father was a lumber yard worker and his mother was a house help. Because of poverty, he needed to work various odd jobs at a very young age.
Behring thrived in the business industry. In 1956, he moved to Florida where he started his very own construction company. He then became a real-estate developer and founded the Tamarac Lakes. The Behring Construction Company eventually became the biggest builder of single-family houses in the state.
But being someone who grew up in poverty, Behring knew how it feels to have less and to work hard just to make ends meet. And realizing that if things were difficult for him, how much more for those who have mobility needs. And having a heart that desires to help others, he wanted to do something.
So in 2000, Behring invested his money and effort into founding the Wheelchair Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides free wheelchairs to people who need them, especially in developing countries. The organization leads a global effort to raise awareness, to promote the joy of giving, to create international ties and friendship, and to give and deliver a mobility chair to every child, teenager, and adult who needs one but cannot afford one. The Wheelchair Foundation and Behring’s generosity and kindness gave hope, mobility and even freedom and independence to many people.
The charitable foundation purchases wheelchairs from several manufacturers in China. They made sure that the wheels are of good quality and are designed to be easily maintainable in developing nations. In 2005, the foundation had already delivered almost 700,000 wheelchairs to individuals in more than 150 countries.
Behring and the Wheelchair Foundation created a big difference in the world. And they still plan to continue what they have started and still aim to provide a wheelchair to every individual needing one.
With what they have done and are doing, the world is truly inspired by their effort, generosity, passion and kindness. And it will not be a surprise that one day we will see that everyone who needs a mobility device will have one.