GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation is no stranger to helping kids and athletes of all abilities.
Now they need your help with replacing some of its aging power chairs used for soccer.
The Overdrive soccer team travels and competes nationally in what's one of the fastest-growing sports on four wheels across the country.
Mary Free Bed currently uses 20-year-old chairs that were donated to them.
So far, the nonprofit Lori's Voice has committed to buy two new chairs for them.
To help get more, the Power Soccer Chair Challenge fundraiser has been launched, with a donor agreeing to match the first $5,000.
Those with Mary Free Bed say upgrading the chairs will make a huge difference to those playing the game.
“They're just designed to lower to the floor,” explains Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Coordinator Jeo Pantoja. “So better … better center of gravity, so you don't tip over their rear-wheel drive, so they hit the ball harder. The only difference … or the other difference is the soccer [ball] is really big. So it's oversized, so you can hit it pretty hard.”
There are more than 250 power soccer teams around the world.
“We want people to feel included, to compete, and these chairs will allow us to do that,” says Pantoja.
For more information on how you can help players here in West Michigan get those new chairs, click here.