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The Knights of Columbus has teamed up with Canadian Wheelchair Foundation, which is involved in an international effort to create awareness of the needs and abilities of people with physical disabilities, to promote the joy of giving, create global friendship, and to deliver a wheelchair to every child, teen and adult in the world who needs one, but cannot afford one.

It is estimated that over 100 million people with physical disabilities worldwide need wheelchairs, though less than 1 percent own or have access to one. The number of physically disabled is likely underestimated, due to the difficulty in accounting for "forgotten" citizens who spend their lives hidden from sight.

In many developing countries, the only way for a person with physical disabilities to be mobile is to crawl along the ground or be carried by family or friends. An all too common reality is that many people stay in bed or the corner of a room for years at a time.

Manitoba State Council is encouraging all Councils to make this project one of their priorities for this Columbian year. We are hoping to fill a sea container with about 280 wheelchairs for delivery later this year.

There are two awards for this program. The Canadian Wheelchair Foundaiton provides a plaque for the council that raises the most money per member. The Manitoba Wheelchair Program Award is for the council that submits the 'best" project as judged by a peer group. All entries are to be submitted by April 1.

Respectfully submitted,

Larry Kustra PSD

Manitoba Wheelchair Program Chairman