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Photo: Poor Disabled Children in Ecuador Receive Free Wheelchairs!

QUITO, Ecuador, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- For 10-year-old Jessica, who struggles with muscular dystrophy and epilepsy that make her life on the steep mountainside above Quito, Ecuador extremely difficult, her new wheelchair is priceless!

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Living in an area without public transportation, Jessica's grandmother must carry her to school and to the hospital, which are long distances for the older woman. With her new wheelchair, now Jessica can accompany her grandmother to the grocery store and to the park.

The new wheelchairs donated to Children International by Free Wheelchair Mission have become "wheels of freedom" for physically disabled children and their family members that are part of Children International's sponsorship program in Ecuador. Free Wheelchair Mission, a California-based nonprofit organization, donated 550 wheelchairs valued at nearly $30,000 to families in Quito and Guayaquil in partnership with Children International, which mobilized its volunteers, beneficiaries and the communities to help assemble the wheelchairs in Ecuador.

"We are pleased to partner with Children International to support the people of Ecuador in this capacity," said Don Schoendorfer, president and founder of Free Wheelchair Mission. "Children International has a long history of global humanitarian work, and we appreciate the opportunity to team with them to address suffering and disability in South America."

Children International's President and CEO Jim Cook said, "Free Wheelchair Mission and Children International's joint effort is changing the lives of children and their families living in crushing poverty in Ecuador. Their donation is providing disabled people independence and dignity they feared they might never have."

About Free Wheelchair Mission:

Free Wheelchair Mission is a humanitarian, international, faith-based, non-profit organization based in Irvine, CA. Through creative partnership with over 200 like-minded groups, FWM has provided over 420,000 wheelchairs to impoverished disabled populations living in 70 underserved regions around the world. To learn more, please go to

About Children International:

Established in 1936, Children International is a nonprofit organization with its headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. Children International's programs benefit more than 325,000 sponsored children and their families in 11 countries around the world including Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Zambia, Honduras, India, the Philippines and the United States. For more information about Children International, visit

    Dolores Quinn Kitchin
    Children International
    +1-816-718-0711 (cell)

SOURCE Children International
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