LeTourneau University students launch 'Make A Wheel Difference' fundraiser

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - For more than eight years, a Letourneau University professor has spearheaded research in Africa that focuses on the function and need of wheelchairs.

Karen Rispin's students have had the opportunity to join her, but now she's offering any East Texan the chance to contribute.

Rispin says their visits to Kenya have impacted them so much, that they are now focusing on taking wheelchairs to Africa.

"Even a manual chair can cost up to $10,000 here," said Rispin. "That is not an option over there, there is no insurance."

Rispin and her students have partnered up with the organization Bethany Kids, which provides wheelchairs in developing countries.

Rispin says that through the non-profit organization, for every $250 raised they provide one wheelchair.

Rispin is encouraging people to spend their holiday break raising pledges to donate at the "Make A Wheel Difference" event.

The run and walk-a-thon will be taking place at Letourneau University on January 13th.

Kevin Bulgrien and his kids are one the first to sign up to collect pledges.

Bulgrien says being from Africa himself, he has seen the need and wants his children to be aware of it,

"Living in a country that has so much it is important for them to learn about the lack of resources around the world," said Bulgrien.

Rispin says this is an opportunity to give back to someone in need without having to travel to Africa.

"Help teach your children that they can make a difference in the world and in the process they learn about how fortunate they are," said Rispin.

For more information on the "Make A Wheel Difference" click here.

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