By Tim Balz
Freedom Chairs is a non-profit that focuses on providing mobility equipment to those who can’t obtain it through standard channels. Some of the most common scenarios in which Freedom Chairs can help are:
- An unexpected condition causes a rapid need for equipment and the insurance process has been started, but it will take a significant amount of time
- Situations where people don’t have insurance
- Equipment has been damaged and the timespan for repair is months
- Short-term conditions such as surgeries
If you need a chair for these or other appropriate reasons, you can reach out via the contact form available on Freedom Chairs Website; www.freedomchairs.org and they will follow up to better understand your situation and determine how they may be able to help.
At Freedom Chairs, they are passionate about giving wheelchairs a second home and helping people in the process. With your help, they can refurbish gently used wheelchairs and provide them to individuals in need. However, they do have some requirements for donations to ensure that the wheelchairs will be able to have a second home.
Freedom Chairs can accept custom power wheelchairs (often called group 3 chairs) that are less than 5 years old and in working order, although good batteries are appreciated, but not required. They also accept generic power wheelchairs (often called group 1 or 2) that are a bit older if they are in good condition. They accept scooters of most ages in good condition and nice manual wheelchairs. Please note that they cannot accept wheelchairs that are damaged or in poor condition, as it can often be very difficult to obtain replacement parts other than wheels, motor brushes, hardware, or batteries without them costing more than the value of the chair.
If Freedom Chairs are unable to accept your wheelchair, there are other options available to you. Some metal recycling centers will accept wheelchairs for recycling. You can also consider posting your wheelchair for free on online marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Some individuals in your community may have the space to store or repair chairs, or you might even find a local high school that will use the motors and frame for a robot platform!
We understand that parting with a wheelchair can be emotional, especially if it was used by a loved one. However, donating your chair to Freedom Chairs or exploring other options for donation or disposal can help make a significant difference in the life of someone in need or at a minimum, reduce the negative environmental impact of disposal if the chair is past its useful service life.