Eleanore’s Project began with a phone call in June 2003, when Don Dubuque of Polson, Montana asked for technical advice in helping meet the need for specialized wheelchairs in Lima, Peru. Don had already begun raising funds when he approached Tamara, an occupational therapist specializing in wheelchair mobility. Don christened the effort Eleanore’s Project, in memory of Tamara’s daughter.
Eleanore’s Project began as a name for one wheelchair project, but the name stuck and was retained when the Kittelson-Aldred family established a private operating foundation in Eleanore’s memory in 2004. Eleanore’s Project was incorporated on August 2, 2004; several months later the IRS granted 501(c) 3 tax exempt status retroactive to that date. The coincidence with Eleanore’s birthday on August 2 was not planned, but is appreciated as a happy accident.
Eleanore’s Project is focused supporting quality of life for children with disabilities and their families. Once a year we send a shipment of wheelchairs to Yancana Huasy in San Juan de Lurigancho, a district of Lima, Peru. This is typically followed by a two week wheelchair clinic with the Eleanore’s Project volunteer team working side by side with Peruvian colleagues in support of the work they provide year round.