TAMPA, Fla. - More than 20,000 children in Florida have limited mobility because of physical disabilities, and just getting around to minimal tasks can be a big chore.
Madeline Robinson took her passion for helping these children and turned it into a mission called "Wheelchairs 4 Kids." They give away free wheelchairs and other mobile devices to help disabled children.
"If we can bring a smile to a child's face, if we can change their life a little bit, make it a little bit easier, a little bit more accessible, then we've done our job," said Robinson, the founder of Wheelchairs 4 Kids said.
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Robinson started the organization in her bedroom 11 years ago with her own money. She helps kids from up to the age of 21 who have been turned down by Medicaid or private insurance.
"I was a volunteer for years with different organizations that I actually worked in the nonprofit sector and kept seeing kids in chairs that were too small, falling apart, weren't appropriate for the child," said Robinson. "And there really was a gap in the system. There was nobody else really doing that. So we decided to start it ourselves. And here we are today."
Jason Griggs' 13-year-old daughter Kiley needed a new wheelchair. He said the organization helped his daughter in many ways. They even gave her an adaptive bike that Kiley can ride daily for exercise, Griggs said.
Robinson has dedicated her life to help the plight of children with disabilities.
"It's the best and when we get to see the smiles on the kids faces and on the family's faces, the parents, that makes all the difference," Robinson said. "That is amazing to me because that's what we're here for."
Wheelchairs can cost anywhere from $20,000-60,000. Anyone interested in helping out can visit www.wheelchairs4kids.org.