Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wheels For Humanity

Last Sunday night The Gaslight Anthem performed at The Key Club on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California. Naturally, I was there. They just get better all the time.
This concert raised money for a cause new to me -- UCP Wheels for Humanity based in North Hollywood. The UCP stands for United Cerebral Palsy.
In this part of the world we sometimes forget that not every place has curb cuts for people for whom mobility is a challenge. We are used to guide dogs and electric wheel chairs and handicapped parking. We are so accustomed to these devices that sometimes we forget about the people who use them. And certainly I had developed a blissful unawareness of what it means to be immobile in a mobile world.
UCP Wheels for Humanity has, since 1996, offered increased mobility and dignity to people with disabilities -- providing wheelchairs and education in underdeveloped and emerging countries of the world including Mexico, Mongolia, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, the Ukraine, and many other places where there is such a need.
Here's what the organization does. It takes junk -- old parts of old wheelchairs, discarded stuff, and all sorts of ambulatory aids, and refurbishes them. Once fixed up, the organization delivers them and individually fits them to economically disadvantaged children and adults in developing countries. They do this without regard to political affiliation, religious belief or ethnic identity.
Without a wheelchair or other ambulatory device, adults and children are often forced to crawl from place to place unless someone is willing to carry them. It is estimated that over one hundred million people worldwide need the assistance of this organization.
Each year UCP Wheels for Humanity recycles about 226,000 pounds of discarded wheelchairs and other ambulatory devices and turns them into mobility.
The Gaslight Anthem was wonderful and the nephew terrific.
The cause for which they played was bigger than any performer on the stage or any person in the audience.

UCP Wheels for Humanity
12750 Raymer Street, Unit 4
North Hollywood CA 91605

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