IRVINE, Calif., August 2, 2020 — Hosted and streamed live on July 23 from its headquarters in Irvine, California, Free Wheelchair Mission presented an innovative new format for its first-ever virtual event, Miracle of Mobility Live, presented by Advisors Mortgage, LLC.
More than $1.5 million was raised by the event, far surpassing the charity’s expectations considering the ongoing worldwide pandemic. The funds will enable the organization to distribute more than 19,000 wheelchairs around the world to those living with disabilities in developing countries.
Due to COVID-19, the nonprofit’s 17th annual event was changed from its usual in-person gala in Southern California to a livestream event on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and the organization’s website. The program featured a fast-paced format, special guests, musical performances, live video calls, and thousands of viewers, all to raise awareness and resources to support the organization’s work in providing life-transforming mobility.
Miracle of Mobility Live was hosted “at home” at the organization’s headquarters with co-hosts, David Hummelberg, Event Committee Co-Chair and host of last year’s Miracle of Mobility, along with Free Wheelchair Mission CEO Nuka Solomon.
The new virtual format significantly extended the reach of the event well beyond those who would usually attend in-person in Orange County, California. The company estimated more than 25,000 views of the livestream and more than 140,000 views of other Miracle of Mobility video content before and after the event.
“While the pandemic continues around the world, we wanted to join together to share a unique and uplifting message of hope in difficult times,” said Solomon. “We are so thankful to all of our sponsors, donors, and supporters who have responded so positively to our event, helping us to far surpass our original projections, which had been tempered due to COVID-19. With the virtual format this year, we were able to attract thousands of viewers across the country, and around the world, whom we would have otherwise not been able to reach with our in-person event.”
Miracle of Mobility Live featured special guests including Chicago Bears quarterback, Nick Foles and ESPN personality and disabilities advocate, Victoria Arlen, as well as musical performances by four-time GRAMMY® Award-winning for KING & COUNTRY and two-time GRAMMY-nominated Jaci Velasquez, who performed with her husband, Nic Gonzales of the band Salvador.
“It was a thrill to be a part of such a special night,” said Luke Smallbone of for KING & COUNTRY. “Free Wheelchair Mission is doing fantastic and important work by bringing the gift of mobility to so many in need around the world.”
In conjunction with the livestream event, the organization’s website offered unique ways for viewers to participate and celebrate at home, including a virtual photo booth, suggested recipes, partnering restaurants to order in from, printable decorations, and more.
“Although the coronavirus has been devastating in the communities we serve, we will continue to safely deliver wheelchairs to so many who need them,” said Free Wheelchair Mission Founder and President Don Schoendorfer. “Now, more than ever, those living with disabilities in developing countries need our help. They see and feel the impacts of the pandemic and may be fearful of what might come next. We want all our recipients to know that when they are sitting in one of our wheelchairs, they are feeling God’s love. With the ongoing support of so many, our mission continues.”
Donations for Miracle of Mobility Live are still being welcomed at: www.MiracleofMobility.org