Four Corners nonprofit needs help building wheelchairs, gait trainers for disabled children

Reach out and Care (ROC) Wheels Executive Director Dean Hampton stands with some of their adaptive wheelchairs and gait trainers in their shop in Four Corners.

BOZEMAN, Mont. – Nonprofit Reach out and Care Wheels is calling on Montana veterans and community volunteers to help them make hundreds of wheelchairs all for helping disabled children across the world gain the gift of mobility.

Reach out and Care (ROC) Wheels Executive Director Dean Hampton started a “Warriors” program to engage area veterans in building and distributing mobility devices to children in Nepal, Kenya, Uganda, Kosovo, Mexico, Peru and other countries in need.

“The idea is that we want them to be a part of a really cool project and then if they want to go into distribution with us that would be great so they can see that whole project through to completion to the child, to the therapist,” Hampton said.

Currently ROC Wheels is in the final stages of designing a customizable gait trainer for kids with help from Montana State University designers, assembled by Montana veterans and community volunteers and tested by kids in Uganda to be tested out.

According to ROC Wheels, an estimated 6.5 million children in less developed parts of the world qualify for an adaptive wheelchair.

The goal for the nonprofit in 2022 is to build more than 300 wheelchairs and 15 new gait trainers for kids in 25 different countries – all for those who need help standing on their own from developmental disabilities.

The Warriors program aims to help veterans come together during group assembly times to find relief and gain a sense of pride from something they’ve built to help others while using skills like welding, metalworking and even 3D computer aided design which they can learn while volunteering.

ROC Wheels has a trip to Mexico on Jan. 15, 2022, to hand over some of the wheelchairs they have assembled during November, and they welcome any veterans as well as community members – no experience necessary – just the willingness to help out.

ROC Wheels also seeks financial support to fund the work of building and delivering mobility devices to children in under-resourced areas of the world. Each wheelchair costs $1,500 and every mobility device changes the life of a child and their family forever.

For more information or to make a gift, visit this link here or contact Dean Hampton at dean@rocwheels.org or 406-556-8065.

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