The Knights of Columbus have begun distributing wheelchairs to more than 1,000 victims of the earthquake in Haiti, saying they will give “the gift of mobility” to those most in need.
The first distribution took place at the University of Miami / Medishare Hospital in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, a press release from the Knights reported. The Catholic fraternal order is working in partnership with the Global Wheelchair Mission and the HHS Foundation.
“Though time has dimmed the memory of the tragic earthquake in Haiti for many who live elsewhere, the physical suffering of those injured in the earthquake and here in Port-au-Prince continues in a very real way,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “We are grateful for the opportunity to give the gift of mobility to those who need it most, and who otherwise would be condemned to lives of isolation and hopelessness.”
“Today, I can think of no group more in need than those who lost everything – including their mobility – in this terrible tragedy,” he continued.
Anderson added that the Knights were founded in 1882 to help those most in need.
Wheelchair donations are among the Knights’ most well known charitable programs. In the past decade they have distributed thousands of wheelchairs in countries including Afghanistan, Mexico, Panama, Cuba and Jordan.
Veterans’ Administration medical centers around the U.S. have also been sites of distributions.
After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the Knights raised more than $500,000 for relief efforts.