Calling it the "Super Roll," a new initiative from Delta employees at Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, aims to collect 200 pediatric wheelchairs by the big game on Feb. 4. Wheels Up! contributes to Delta's rapid response humanitarian aid flights by providing wheelchairs, walkers, and canes to people living in areas ravaged by natural disasters such as Puerto Rico, recently struck by Hurricane Maria. A secondary focus for Wheels Up! is a global initiative to provide assistive devices to people with disabilities in countries with little access to wheelchairs.
Since the program's inception in 2015, local volunteers have collected over 1,000 of these devices through collaboration with the MSP Metropolitan Airport Commission and Joni & Friends, an international disability organization. Wheelchairs and other assistive devices are refurbished at correctional facilities in 12 states and distributed to people with disabilities around the globe.
"One of the greatest needs right now is pediatric chairs," says Karen Carlin, Delta Customer Service Agent and Wheels Up! administrator. So we thought, why not tie it in with the [the big game] and have our own Super Roll." Carlin has found that children with disabilities are often deprived of community interaction and education simply because they have no way to get around. "A wheelchair or other assistive device can impact a child's life forever," says Carlin.