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OC-Based Charity Teams with International Relief Organization in Holiday Fundraising Drive

Thursday, October 29, 2009 General News J E 4
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IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 28 Southern California-based philanthropy Free Wheelchair Mission has been named a featured charity in Operation Blessing International's annual giving catalog. Called "Relief in Real Time," this year's catalog will highlight 19 humanitarian outreach operations, supporting causes including hunger alleviation, disaster relief, clean water and medical aid.

The two international nonprofits have collaborated since 2005, distributing hundreds of wheelchairs to eleven countries. Recently, FWM teamed up with OBI partners in the Philippines to alleviate suffering inflicted upon the region from typhoons and catastrophic flooding.

"The collaboration between Operation Blessing and Free Wheelchair Mission is a perfect example of synergy at its best," said Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International. "Our partnership brings exponential results, allowing us to help far more impoverished and disabled people worldwide than either of us could do on our own."

Free Wheelchair Mission was founded by Don Schoendorfer in 2001 and has partnered to date with over 200 like-minded organizations like OBI to fund, manufacture and deliver wheelchairs around the globe. Schoendorfer, an engineer and inventor by trade, developed the original FWM wheelchair model to navigate both the uneven rural terrain and inaccessible urban areas common to developing countries. To date, Free Wheelchair Mission has provided over 425,000 wheelchairs to 74 developing countries.

"We are grateful to be included in the '2009 Relief in Real Time Giving Catalog,'" said Schoendorfer. "Thanks to OBI, we'll be able to reach even more people around the world with the dignity, access and hope that a wheelchair can provide."

Operation Blessing International's "Relief in Real Time Giving Catalog" is expected to hit area homes in November 2009.

About Free Wheelchair Mission: Free Wheelchair Mission is an international, humanitarian, faith-based nonprofit based in Irvine, California. In partnership with over 200 like-minded organizations, FWM serves people with disabilities by funding, manufacturing and delivering wheelchairs to underserved regions of the world. www.freewheelchairmission.org.

About Operation Blessing International (OBI): Headquartered in the United States, OBI is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that has touched the lives of more than 215 million people through core programs of disaster and hunger relief, medical aid, clean water, microenterprise and orphan care. www.ob.org

SOURCE Free Wheelchair Mission
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