While most people know of the work which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did during the Civil Rights Movement, his work towards equalization extended far beyond that for African Americans. He was also a major component of helping pave the way towards a more accessible country. When changes were beginning to be being made for an increasing number of minorities across the country, advocates for those with disabilities joined in on the fight. Their efforts are responsible for many of the basic adaptations we see today, from marked parking spaces to equal access building codes.
In recent years, sites like GoFundMe have helped raise individuals and organizations millions of dollars for charitable causes. In addition to starting an online fundraising site, here are a few ideas that can help you raise money for an accessible van:
In 2007, Shelly Loose was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Michigan, and competed in the national Ms. Wheelchair America pageant where her life was changed forever. Shelly went into the pageant with her mind set on winning, and even though she didn’t leave with the crown, she did meet contestants who became some of her best friends. A decade later, Shelly is the President of Ms. Wheelchair America and she is working towards expanding the pageant to include representatives from all 50 states.
In addition to being President of Ms. Wheelchair America, Shelly is also the state coordinator for Michigan. There are currently 28 states in the US that have annual pageants, but that doesn’t rule out anyone from the remaining states from competing. Independent delegates are able to write an essay explaining their platform for states that do not have an official pageant. The national board reads these submissions and crowns one of the girls as Ms. Wheelchair for their state, and they are invited to participate in the Ms. Wheelchair America pageant. The independent delegate that is selected becomes the state coordinator for the next year and is in charge of organizing and coordinating their state’s pageant moving forward.
It’s hard to believe that 2017 is already coming to a close. This past year was filled with special events and milestones at MobilityWorks. Here is a look back at a few of the memorable moments from 2017:
20 Year Anniversary –In 1997, Bill Koeblitz purchased a single store in Akron, OH and soon after brought on his good friend Taylor Clark to run the commercial division. Over the past 20 years they have grown MobilityWorks to 72 locations across the country.
“The mission in 1997 was the same as it is today: To provide wheelchair users with the independence and personal freedom to go where they want to go, and to do what they want to do,” ~Bill Koeblitz
New Accessible Chrysler Pacifica – The most innovative minivan to be released in years is now wheelchair accessible and available with infloor or foldout ramp options. Click here to view available inventory.
Toyota XL Conversion – BraunAbility released the Toyota XL conversion with more interior space and a redesigned ramp. Click here to learn more
Ms. Wheelchair Sponsorship – We are proud sponsor of the Ms. Wheelchair Pageant. Throughout 2017 and 2018 we posted or will be posting blogs about the pageant and participants involvement in the community.
Test Drive Events – Over the course of 2017, MobilityWorks locations across the country hosted open house test drive events with special savings. Keep an eye out for more test drives and open houses in 2018.
Launch of MobilityGuard – Our new extended service contract MobilityGuard is available on any wheelchair accessible vehicle. Please call our Client Care Center at 877-275-4912 for more information.
We wish everyone a joyful New Year!
Priscilla Hedlin, also known as “The Wheelchair Mommy” has been blogging about her life for over 15 years. She documents her everyday life in Pflugerville a small suburb of Austin, TX and talks about what life is like raising three young boys. Her blog covers a little bit of everything from skydiving and purchasing a sailboat, to dealing with family hardships.
In the fall of 1999, Priscilla was in a car accident and suffered a spinal cord injury. While recovering in the hospital, one of her nurses gave Priscilla a book titled “Joni: An Unforgettable Story” by Joni Eareckson Tada. After reading it, Priscilla realized for the first time that she wanted to document her life, and soon setup a website to share her stories. In the beginning, the blog was mostly about her life and recovering from the spinal cord injury. She then began writing more about her husband, children and their adventures.