Provider's goal: 'Do well by doing good'
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - After attracting about 2,000 applicants for a 2007 college scholarship worth $500, 1800Wheelchair expanded its philanthropic activities this year to include two grants for Web sites dedicated to mobility issues.
Earlier this summer, 1800Wheelchair, an online provider of mobility equipment, awarded the grants, worth up to $100,000 over the next 10 years, to paralinks.net and rollingpix.blogspot.com.
"The overriding idea is that we want to do well by doing good," said Joseph Piekarski, president of 1800Wheelchair. "Yes, we have a business selling mobility equipment, but we're also in the unique position of being able to help create a community for people with disabilities. The two don't have to be mutually exclusive."
1800Wheelchair will help pay for hosting fees for paralinks.net and rollingpixblogspot.com, and advise the founders of the Web sites on how to increase visibility.
1800Wheelchair will award its 2008 scholarship in January. The essay topic: What advice would you give to your college's faculty administration to help your school better assist students with disabilities?
Last year's winner was Irvin Quarles, a 58-year-old student at the City College of San Francisco. Several years ago, Quarles had his left leg and several toes on his right foot amputated due to diabetes-related medical complications.