News Release

Wheelchairs for Christmas

During his recent talk at the First Presidency's Christmas DevotionalPresident Dieter F. Uchtdorf mentioned the gift of a wheelchair to an African man who was not expecting it.  He explained that this wheelchair “is a gift from people who love you”.  The gift of new mobility became a reality for many more people in East Africa this past week. 

A training seminar was held in Kijabe, Kenya where 35 wheelchair specialists from South Sudan and Kenya were trained to fit and customize wheelchairs for those in need.  Eric Wunderlich the Humanitarian Manager for Wheelchair Projects for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other service missionaries were among those attending and helping in the training.  Elder and Sister Petersen, Humanitarian Missionaries from Nairobi will continue to coordinate wheelchair projects in East Africa.

David, who is a Polio survivor from South Sudan, came to learn how to fit others for a new wheelchair.  He was very surprised when he found out that one of the wheelchairs he was fitting and working on, would become his very own.  He was overjoyed at the prospects of having his own new chair. It became a Christmas gift from “people who love you”.

LDS Charities for years has partnered with other organizations who furnish wheelchairs for hundreds of disabled Africans who would normally be “stuck at home” and unable to move about the world as you and I do.  These disabled ones must rely on others to help move about.  With the aid of wheelchairs provided by LDS Charities, the Humanitarian arm of the Church, many people are no longer home bound and become active citizens in their communities.

Christmas is a time of giving.  President Uchtdorf mentioned that “The Generous One” who is Christ the Lord has given us untold blessings.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Plan of Happiness, and Eternal Families sealed in holy temples are but a few of the blessings the “Generous One” has given us.  Christmas is a time we can open our hearts to others.  The ongoing generosity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints makes these gifts possible.  

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