Apr 022015

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — Mobility devices to help people worldwide will be collected April 10-11 by St. Ambrose University’s Physical Therapy Department.


The annual All-Iowa Wheels for the World drive will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days at the Center for Health Sciences Education at the corner of Lombard and Marquette streets. Manual wheelchairs, aluminum crutches, canes and foldable walkers (or any parts related to these items) can be dropped off via the St. Ambrose visitor parking lot off Lombard. Other drop-off sites in Iowa can be found at:

“As healthcare professionals, our goal is to help people in need,” said John Barr, professor of physical therapy. “Wheels for the World provides an opportunity for our students to assist people with disabilities in developing countries and is in keeping with the St. Ambrose tradition of enriching lives.”

All mobility equipment will be taken to restoration facilities housed in regional prisons where trained inmates will prepare it for shipment. Mission teams will fit the equipment to recipients and train them in its use. Monetary donations will also be accepted to help cover restoration costs and student expenses associated with outreach and delivery trips. Donations can be made to one of two categories:

1) Restoration donations: assists in defraying the $150 cost of restoring and delivering each wheelchair.

2) Scholarship donations: helps fund a Doctor of Physical Therapy student in Iowa to join a one- to two-week overseas mission trip to an underdeveloped country. Students are selected through an application process and will work as wheelchair fitters and trainers.

Checks for either donation should be made payable to “Joni and Friends” with “Wheels for the World Iowa Scholarship” on the memo line and sent to Wheels for the World, c/o Midwest One Bank, Attn: Dirk Ockerlander, 1906 Keokuk Street, Iowa City, IA 52240.

Joni and Friends’ Wheels for the World is a Christian outreach program designed to meet the physical and spiritual needs of people with disabilities worldwide. WFTW has distributed more than 90,000 wheelchairs to persons with disabilities in developing countries.
For more information or to make a monetary donation, contact Barr at (563) 333-6404 or email him at

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