The ThreeSixtyFive Foundation was born out of a tragedy…and the effort to come to the aid of a brother. On August 6th 2005, Chris Bentlage was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident. During the events of the next few weeks, which included the realization that Chris may not walk again, a group of close friends including Greg Hazard formed The BrotherBentlage Fund. They used this Fund to organize the help that friends and family wanted to give to Chris and his wife, Jordan. A website was established to offer those who were separated by distance an avenue with which to follow his progress and that of the Fund.
Through the course of one year the fund raised enough money to pay for Chris’ wheelchair, ramps, a car conversion kit, a home computer network to allow him use of the computer from his wheelchair and countless other large and small items that allowed him to live his new life. A certified SCUBA diver before the accident, Chris capped off his first year as a paraplegic in an extraordinary way; 365 days after he lost the use of his legs, Chris sat at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico as a certified handicapped diver.
While Chris’ story may be extraordinary, the situation he found himself in on that random day in August is not unique. Chris will tell you that while the financial help was instrumental during his recovery, the Fund provided an opportunity to see and hear from the many people who were behind him and supporting him, some without even knowing Chris. It was this support that proved to be the most profound motivation in keeping his mind focused and his attitude positive.
It is with that awareness that Chris and Greg, together with their wives, began to brainstorm about what to do with the BrotherBentlage Fund. Chris and Jordan conceded that they were fortunate the immediate need they experienced after the accident had passed, but all agreed that being involved with the BrotherBentlage Fund had left an unforgettable impression on them.
And so the idea of the ThreeSixtyFive Foundation was born. A charity that partners with an individual during the first three hundred and sixty-five days of their recovery. Offering financial help, but more importantly creating the window whereby the individual can draw his or her own motivation for facing the challenges ahead and moving forward.
Throughout the Program, we offer to the recipient the opportunity to decide for himself or herself what types of adaptive equipment they would like the Foundation to provide.
While still in its infancy, the Foundation made a partnership with the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI), the facility where Chris spent his 6 weeks of formal rehab. RHI assists the Foundation in identifying potential recipients.
In its short history, our Foundation has provided items ranging from a hand cycle and vehicle controls to a paralyzed father of three, allowing him to return to the bike trails with his family; to construction materials for a ramp system to be built for a paralyzed individual who required access to the front door of his home. We continue to present care packages to newly injured persons and pursue new avenues of communication with individuals and their families to offer help in whatever way that we are able.
The ThreeSixtyFive Foundation is operated in the greater Indianapolis area. We welcome inquiries from throughout the Mid-West and are interested in opportunities to be involved within our local community. If you would like to contact us, or would like to learn how you can assist us in our mission to help recently injured individuals, please visit our website at www.threesixtyfivefoundation.org.
Mission Statement: To provide, through financial and non-financial means, assistance to physically challenged individuals in returning to an active lifestyle.