Regents Essay: Part A Kenneth E. Behring

Essay by noseyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2009

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Kenneth E. Behring led a very interesting life. He was raised during the Great Depression and so had to see and deal with many hardships, leading him to become aware of suffering as he grew older. He worked as a lawn mower and a paper boy, but found his fortune in car sales. He move up in social class as he grew older, to the point where he could buy anything, and do anything he wanted. However, despite achieving the American Dream, acquiring millions of dollars, a successful real estate business, a jet, and even the Seattle Seahawks, he still felt empty and unfulfilled. Material possessions were not enough for Behring; he needed to give something back to feel like his life had a purpose. He found his fulfillment in philanthropy and charity work.

What began his path towards fulfillment was his trip to Africa on a hunting safari. There, he was exposed to the living conditions of people living in third world countries.

He saw the lack a everyday supplies that the less fortunate had to deal with. This eye-opening experience led him to being school supplies and medical supplies to them on his next safari. Charity organizations heard of his generosity in Africa and asked him to deliver goods and supplies to Eastern Europe. Through this endeavor, he realized that philanthropy was the part of his life that was missing.

In Europe and Asia, he made several wheelchair deliveries. Upon meeting the recipients of his generosity, he immediately felt fulfilled with his life. He delivered a wheelchair to a European man who realized he could now lead a real life and go over to his friends’ houses. He made another delivery to a little girl in China who was previously living her whole life on a pile of rags. In Afghanistan, he gave a wheelchair to man with six children, allowing him to support them. These profound experiences gave Behring the idea to begin his own charity organization. He founded the Wheelchair Foundation whose mission was to deliver the gift of mobility to disabled impoverished people around the world. In all, The Wheelchair Foundation delivered about 100,000 wheelchairs to the needy. However, to keep up with his growing philanthropic heart, Behring moved on to a bigger, more serious concern.

Drinking water is still a precious commodity in many poorer nations. Many people still do not have access to clean water and Behring’s current goal is to change that. One out of every five people does not have water that is safe to drink. That statistic is unacceptable to Behring, and he is working endlessly to make sure it is improved. His goal is to provide clean water to every single man, woman, and child in the world. It is a lofty target, but one Behring is serious about accomplishing.

Kenneth E. Behring has helped countless numbers of people around the world regain this lives. He found a passion that fulfills his sizeable heart and continues to provide the world with his kindness and generosity. He has set up numerous charities that will continue his work even past his existence. He has set ‘wheels’ in motion that aide the impoverished with clean water; a goal that may not be accomplished in his lifetime, but one that can and should be carried out. If he hasn’t had a positive effect on the lives of others, I don’t know who has.