Bill Weber, Chairman
The Knights of Columbus, in partnership with the American Wheelchair Mission, raise funds to support the purchase of wheelchairs for distribution worldwide. Many have been distributed in the USA. Our Worthy State Deputy has continued to set a goal for each Council to donate at least $150 for the purchase of one wheelchair. To achieve this objective the Council’s budget should reflect this amount as a line item. The Grand Knight should regularly include the wheelchair ministry on the agenda of the monthly Council meeting. Checks should be made payable to the American Wheelchair Mission and mailed to: Chairman Bill Weber; 3337 Treehouse Lane, Plano, Texas 75023. This helps in tracking donations and giving credit to the donor. Please do not mail checks to anyone else.
It is estimated that over 100 million people worldwide need a wheelchair and cannot afford one. It is also estimated that each wheelchair delivered changes and improves an average of 10 lives. A very good way to raise funds for the purchase of wheelchairs is to conduct a weekend parish wide fundraiser. This gives parishioners an opportunity to join in this ministry and is very easy to conduct. Bill Weber, (214) 405-8023 firstname.lastname@example.org carries the primary responsibility for this effort.
Here is what needs to be done:
- Obtain permission and support of the pastor.
- Coordinate with the appropriate parish staff person to select a date for the event. Try to obtain a date close to pay day! Do not compete with other parish fund drives.
- Publicize the event in the weekly bulletin and any other parish publication. Start at least six weeks before the event.
- Seek opportunities to speak to parish organizations.
- DVD’s are available that show distributions of wheelchairs. Obtain these and show them in a well trafficked area. This is the best way to convey the happiness of an individual receiving a wheelchair.
- On the days of the weekend fundraiser show a DVD edited to not exceed six minutes. Make a short introduction of the DVD and show it. Total time of introduction and showing of DVD should not take more than eight minutes. If you can’t get permission to show a DVD, pulpit talks at the end of each Mass can be effective. A one-page talk takes about four minutes to read.
- Advise parishioners to make check payable to the AMERICAN WHEELCHAIR MISSION. Send all checks to: Texas K of C Wheelchair Chairman at 3337 Treehouse Lane, Plano, Texas 75023. Many donors prefer making a donation by credit card.
Please make arrangement to enable these donors to use any major credit card. Prepare a separate list of all donors donating $150 or more using a credit card and include this list when forwarding checks.
Wheelchairs are shipped in two different size containers - Small and Large. The small one contains 110 wheelchairs and requires $16,500, while a large one contains 280 wheelchairs and requires $42,000. All arrangements for procurement and shipment of containers are managed by the American Wheelchair Mission.
An organization raising funds sufficient to fill either a small or large container may designate the location for distribution. Volunteers wishing to assist in distribution may do so at their own expense.
WARNING!! A box of Kleenex may be needed as most presentations to recipients are very emotional and includes tears.
Showing a DVD at a parish event will not only raise funds but will also present an opportunity to recruit new members. Emphasize that CHARITY is being demonstrated as the first principle of our Order. If it is not possible to conduct a parish wide fundraiser, then Grand Knights should direct efforts that will assure that our Worthy State Deputy’s objective of raising $150 for the purchase of one wheelchair per council is met.
“CHANGING LIVES THROUGH MOBILITY”