An electric wheelchair is a great tool to help give mobility and independence to those who may otherwise be stuck at home, or left relying on other people to help them run errands or do simple tasks. Many users will require the use of the electric wheelchair for the rest of their life once they get one as it’s usually a result of medical conditions or illnesses that will not get any better.
There will likely come a time when the person who uses an electric wheelchair can no longer use it: they may have passed away or maybe their mobility has decreased even more and can’t get around even in an electric wheelchair. They also might upgrade to another chair if their needs change, and don’t have use for the chair anymore.
In any event, the time will come when the current user no longer has a use for that chair and they, or their family, maybe looking to donate the electric wheelchair to someone who needs it.
Electric wheelchairs can be very expensive, especially if they have modifications to suit specific needs or medical conditions. There are many families and individuals who cannot afford to purchase these chairs so they look to organizations to help pay for or even find them a chair. We have a separate article on how to get a free wheelchair.
Organizations That Accept Wheelchair Donations
If you’re looking to donate an electric wheelchair to help someone in need there are many organizations across the country that may be able to help get it into the right hands. Here are some you might want to consider.
American Mobility Outreach
This organization aims to build a framework that will improve people’s quality of life. This includes giving them the mobility and independence they wouldn’t have previously had without a power chair.
They also help people in power chairs to find gainful employment, which helps gives a sense of freedom and empowerment.
If you want to donate an electric wheelchair to this organization, they will help arrange to pick it up from you so you don’t have to worry about getting it to a specific location. Additionally, they will give you a tax write-off receipt.
This program specifically gives gently used electric wheelchairs to veterans or low-income seniors who need them.
If you may want to donate to this program, you can find them on various social media outlets or reach out to them on their website and find out how you can help.
Friends of Disabled Adults and Children
This program is located primarily in Atlanta, Georgia and the goal is to provide medical equipment – including electric wheelchairs – to those in need in the area.
This program is also geared at increasing the quality of life for those who may have a disability or illness that prevents them from being independent and mobile. There is no financial threshold applicants need to meet, which is why the program relies heavily on donated wheelchairs and equipment.
They also focus on short-term solutions where emergency care is needed. For example, applicants may be waiting for their insurance to kick in or a child may have outgrown their current wheelchair and are waiting for the new one to come in.
This organization also works with people in situations where medical equipment would be very helpful – like traveling long distances or for recreational activities and school.
This program is a little different from others in that it will fix any minor repairs on wheelchairs that will make them useable for others again. Applicants will have to pay a $25 fee (plus any additional donation they might be able to make) to cover the cost of fixing it. To compare, some labor repair shops can charge upwards of $60/hour.
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The whole goal for this program is to get wheelchairs to people who need them from people who are no longer using them. This program is across the United States, and is meant to get wheelchairs from individuals to individuals and does not work with vendors or retailers.
They have a website that posts ads for available wheelchairs and those in need can browse through them to see if there’s one that matches what they are looking for.
This organization was developed in Iowa in 1959 with the notion that children with disabilities could live a very fulfilling life, despite any disability or illness they may face. Today this organization runs in both Iowa and Minnesota.
While its mission is not solely for helping get electric wheelchairs to its participants, it is meant to help children who have disabilities that may need some help with mobility in their life and their parents may not be able to afford it.
This organization also helps to finance buildings or renovate existing buildings to make them wheelchair accessible. This gives them independence and empowerment to be able to live on their own. Once homes are renovated, this organization helps individuals who have been in a wheelchair for years to move in so that they can successfully be on their own with the right accommodations.
This organization works to support radical improvements in the mobility and independence of those who have lower-limb paralysis. They do this by trying to develop smarter assistive technologies to make those with paralysis much more independent.
Each year, the Toyota Mobility organization hosts a challenge with a $1 million prize awarded to the winner to help with innovation in wheelchairs and mobility.
Special Kids Fund
The goal of this organization is to open new doors to those children who developmentally disabled or at risk across the country. They also run a program called the Wheelchair Van Assistance Program which helps families in need to access handicap vans so it’s easier to go out as a family and allow their family members to participate in family activities.
While they mostly work to help families get the van they need to help their family members get around, you can still donate to this program. They can help families who may not have the funds to buy a wheelchair get one for their child, so their child can participate in activities and enjoy time away from home.
This nonprofit organization does run on an international scale, but there are recipients in the US as well. They give wheelchairs to those who have permanent disabilities or even short-term medical issues that require them to have one but can’t afford it.
This program does take donations of wheelchairs, but they also accept cash donations to purchase new wheelchairs for those who need them if you want to give more.
You can also get involved and volunteer with this program to get wheelchairs to those who need them, worldwide. There are many opportunities to get involved in a community that does fantastic work.
There are many groups that come together to raise funds and awareness for those who need a wheelchair. The group Wine for Wheels consists of thousands of friends who have come together across the country to help raise awareness for those who need a wheelchair for mobility.
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Benefits of Donating a Wheelchair
You, or your family member, have likely spent a lot of money on purchasing a wheelchair and it can be really difficult to just give away an investment like that. However, there are some benefits of donating it.
Helping Someone in Need
While your insurance may have covered the cost of a wheelchair, or maybe you were able to buy it on your own, that doesn’t mean people across the United States are in the same situation as you are.
Think about how you felt when you or your family member was able to get around without any issues thanks to the electric wheelchair. You could give that gift to another person who is really struggling right now. Donations like these can go a long way.
As long as you donate the wheelchair to a registered charity, you can get a tax write-off. This can help with your income taxes and maybe even get you some money back next year. The amount may or may not be negotiable, and you might not get the donation amount for the exact amount you paid for the chair.
Being able to afford a wheelchair when you need one isn’t something everyone has, and insurance may not be an option either. Sometimes insurance will cover part of the wheelchair, but the remaining cost may still be out of the question for people.
If you need a wheelchair, being without one can make you feel like you’re completely dependent on others and like you’re helpless and alone. Getting an electric wheelchair gives you your independence back and allows you the freedom to get out of the house on your own and live on your own.
Donating a used wheelchair to an organization can give a person some independence who previously couldn’t leave their house. While most organizations do require that the wheelchair is in working order, there are a couple who will fix minor issues or replace the battery if it’s needed.