Today, we would like to share a recent project where SunPower helped make an impact to the local community in Manila, Philippines. In early March, more than 150 SunPower employees including the management team joined Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM), a nonprofit organization providing wheelchairs for the impoverished disabled in developing nations, to assemble and distribute wheelchairs to beneficiaries. We assembled 1,100 wheelchairs and distributed them through health clinics, schools and disability centers locally. It was an extremely rewarding project as SunPower deeply cares about the people who live in the regions where we work, all around the world.
Shool kids in need receiving their wheelchairs
During this project, we learned that there are about 100 million people living in the developing countries suffer with walking disabilities, yet cannot afford a wheelchair. This is a lot of people… To date, FWM has provided more than 550,000 wheelchairs in 78 countries. Don Schoendorfer founded the nonprofit humanitarian organization in 2001. Don developed the original FWM wheelchair model to navigate both the uneven rural terrain and inaccessible urban areas common to underserved regions of the world. SunPower is proud to partner with FWM to expand its ability to provide additional wheelchairs in Philippines.
SunPower's CEO, Tom Werner on behalf of the management team expressing gratitudes
SunPower is helping distribute wheelchairs and making an impact on people’s lives
At the end of the project, we invited everyone including some beneficiaries to our fabrication facility in Manila for a special event. We also had a friendly competition with employees to build wheelchairs as a team.
It was incredible to be a part of an activity that so dramatically changed the life lives of so many individuals in such a personal way – mobility is a right that so many of us so often take for granted. Imagine if you were isolated to a bed and room indoors and unable to enjoy the outdoors safely? Imagine if your family and friends had to carry you to make sure that you were safe from disease and danger – on a daily basis? To be able to share our community members’ joy as many sat in a wheelchair for the first time, and to connect our employees to such an important cause, was an incredible gift and opportunity.
A young child with his new wheelchair
You can learn more about Free Wheelchair Mission by clicking here.