Back in July, I volunteered at the Wheelchair project that Club Rotario sponsored, and it was truly an amazing experience!
From the moment that I arrived at the event site, I knew that what we were about to do would forever change the lives of the children that we were going to help.
Just the sight of all of those wheelchair chariots awaiting their new little owners made me tear up, yet also filled me with joy!
And then, the children began to arrive - little ones, older ones, happy ones, crying ones, curious ones, ones who were carried on their parents’ backs because they had no other means of transportation.
I had the privilege of handing each child a stuffed animal to play with while they were awaiting their turns. For me, it felt like Christmas and Three Kings’ Day all rolled into one and, I was the lucky one, who got to play Santa!
I’ll never forget one little guy who tore his ball cap off, whooped loudly, and started wheeling, himself around the basketball court. It looked like a moment of sheer joy for him to finally feel that he had gained some independence in his life. And, what a privilege, to have witnessed his life-changing triumph that day!
That one event sealed the deal for me that it was the right decision to become a Rotarian again.
Rotary is where neighbors, friends and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders, and take action to create lasting change. For more information about Rotary, contact our President, Joe Ruffino Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The three Rotary Clubs of San Miguel de Allende came together to help build, adjust, and donate more than 200 wheelchairs to children who heretofore have had to depend on others for mobility. This project has long been a tradition of the Spanish-speaking club, and now is a larger project shared by the three clubs. The children’s ages ranged from under 1 to 18 years old. Some were orphans. Many were transported by organizations, while families brought others. Their conditions included cerebral palsy, spinal bifida, scoliosis, and encephalitis, among others. Each wheelchair is adjustable to continue to suit the children as they grow. The average cost of each wheelchair, some of which were new and some of which were refurbished, was $3,000 USD. Each family contributed $1,000 pesos toward the cost, and the Rotary clubs raised the rest.