Wheelchairs For Iraqi Children
[This is an important but small story that got lost in the noise of Iraq. The dispatch was written by a mainstream journalist upon my request. The journalist required anonymity; major news outlets tend to censor their workers. This story is the unauthorized product of a mainstream journalist.
I know firsthand about the problems described in this dispatch, and I have written about the medical staff featured in the story.
Back at the chapel of Forward Operating Base Marez, Maj. Brown unburdened his frustration at the somewhat mixed results. Brad Blauser, a civilian contractor also based at Marez, asked what he could do.
“It would sure be great if we could get these kids some wheelchairs,” he told Blauser.
“That’s all it took, just me thinking out loud,” Brown recalls. “Brad just has a pure heart for helping people.”
Blauser wrote home to all of the 300 people on his email distribution list. His friends wrote to their friends.
“E-mail is a pretty small world,” says Blauser. “People are just chomping at the bit to help soldiers and to help the Iraqis. They just didn’t know how to help. This was something that gave them an outlet.”
In the end, 36 children got into wheelchairs last year after the grassroots effort that eventually became Wheelchairs For Iraqi Kids.
Read the rest here.
This year, there are 100 more children’s wheelchairs ready to go as soon as they can be purchased. They normally retail for nearly $1000, but Reach Out And Care Wheels, a Montana-based nonprofit organization, got vendors to provide them at a cost of $200. The 101st Airborne has agreed to ship the wheelchairs to Iraq if they can get to Kentucky in time.
The chairs, which are refurbished by inmates in the Colorado correctional system, are designed for the dirt streets and uneven terrain of Iraq.
“The wheelchairs are built for the third world; they feature thick bicycle tires, but they’re not plastic garden chairs on a cheap frame,” says Blauser, 40, from Fort Worth, Texas.
Those interested in reading more about Wheelchairs For Iraqi Kids can log on to their website at:
To donate online, log on to:
Anyone who stops by here, please, this is for a good cause.
Look through the links provided.
If you can, if you are able, please help those that need it.
You may not know me very well, but there are two things that I will go out of my way to help:
1. The Soldiers
2. The Kids
I will always support the soldiers, they do good work and they are my brothers and sisters.
The kids, no matter what race, creed or color, deserve a life.
While we cannot give them everything, we should be able to help where it counts.
And nothing rips apart my heart more than seeing a child suffer.