The Knights of Columbus and the Global Wheelchair Mission have teamed up to help bring wheelchairs to those who lack freedom of mobility.

The Global Wheelchair Mission purchases wheelchairs in bulk and delivers them by sea containers around the world.

They are distributed with the help of numerous non-governmental organizations, Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis Clubs, and now the Knights of Columbus.

In 2003, the Knights of Columbus began participating in the Global Wheelchair Mission and sponsored 2,000 wheelchairs to be distributed in Afghanistan. Since then, Knights in the U.S. and Canada have sponsored the distribution of more than 57,000 wheelchairs in Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Oman, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, the United States, Canada and Vietnam.

In February 2016, the Knights held a wheelchair distribution event outside the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. That occasion marked a major milestone in Order's charitable giving: 50,000 wheelchairs distributed through the partnership with the Global Wheelchair Mission.

For every donation of $150 received by the Global Wheelchair Mission, it can deliver a brand new wheelchair which would cost over $500 in a medical supply store.

They are shipped in containers of 100 to 280 wheelchairs each directly from the factory to the destination countries at no cost to the recipients.

Councils, assemblies, and circles are encouraged to promote this program to their membership, inviting personal consideration, as well as implementing this as an ongoing charitable event.

Tell Us About Your Programs
Help us improve the Service Program activities offered by the Supreme Council office by sending reports on your council’s successful activities and/or any suggestions you may have on improving our programs. Send this information to Fraternal Mission, Service Program Suggestions, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 or contact us. Please include “Service Program Suggestions” in the subject line.

Action Steps

  1. Consider appointing The Global Wheelchair Mission chairman or assigning the task to the community activities chairman for the council.
  2. Contact the State Council to learn if there is a state chairman who is responsible for coordinating statewide activities, and determine how your council, assembly or circle can support these activities and initiatives.
  3. Arrange a goal for the council to raise annually as a contribution to The Global Wheelchair Mission – a specific dollar amount, a specific number of wheelchairs, etc. Schedule events to raise monies, and promote goal to members encouraging individual contributions.
  4. Work with other parish groups or civic organizations in your community to organize joint efforts to support The Global Wheelchair Mission.
  5. Consider determining a location (country) to support the distribution of wheelchairs – and promote this to the members and throughout the community.
  6. Print and distribute copies of the donation form to council members and their families, encouraging personal donation to the Mission. Donation forms should be collected by the council or state chairman, or make arrangements for individuals to note the council information on the form and send directly.
  7. Recognize donors of the council at a council meeting, or annual awards banquet or ceremony.
  8. Report your activities to the Supreme Council with the Global Wheelchair Report (#10071) or for Canadian councils the Global Wheelchair Report (#10071-C). Remember that working with the Wheelchair Mission is one of our "featured" programs. If the council, working with the parish, raises the funds to purchase 100 or more wheelchairs, the council would fulfill all four of the programming requirements in the Community Activities category for the Columbian Award.

Support Materials

To assist your council, assembly or circle in its participation with the Global Wheelchair Mission, the following materials and links are provided:

Online Resources
The Global Wheelchair Mission site – USA

The Global Wheelchair Mission – Canada

Global Wheelchair Mission Report (#10071)

Global Wheelchair Mission Report (#10071-C)

Columbian Award Application (#SP-7) Due 6/30

Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity (#1728) Due 1/31