This is a story of global warming, rising seas, a drowning island, the US Marines and PET:
Kiribata is a flyspeck of a group of 33 islands located in the central
Pacific near Guam and Tarawa. Many of my Marine Corps buddies gave up their
lives on those sandy beaches. One island, Banaba, is a raised coral island
that was a colony of Britain. (southeast of Hong Kong and north of Brisbane,
Australia) That island provided he British a wealth of seabird
guano-derived phosphates. The year after the last of the guano was harvested
the British turned the island back over to its inhabitants in a
half-finished and poverty stricken condition.
Kirbata, already with a long list of problems, now finds itself drowning
as sea levels rise, flood its land, pollute its disappearing fresh water,
and kill its vegetation. The highest point on the island is twelve feet
above sea level. The island is less than a mile wide. A major hurricane
would cause total destruction.
What has that to do with PET? Diabetes and leprosy are making a major
impact upon the local population. Hospital facilities are very simple,
staffed with Cuban doctors. Since complicated treatments are not available
the doctors turn to amputation. Every month an average of 25 persons lose
limbs due to diabetes. Persons with cancer, leukemia, etc. simply die
because they cannot afford to send them away for treatment.
PET has an opportunity to be of service here if we can make the right
connections! Christianity is the major religion and The Assemblies of God
is the major denomination. Their international headquarters is located in
Springfield, MO, about 30 miles from PET Southwest Missouri. Jim Wrinkle,
director of that PET shop has connections with the main office. I am sending
Jim and Von Driggs, our director of logistics, a copy of the magazine
article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek whence came the information for this
update. And I am wondering if our military still has any bases on Guam or
Tarawa with ships going that way.
PETs are especially made for the needs of those sisters and brothers who are
being slowly flooded out of their homes.
It is all a matter of making the right connections. Can we?
*** Bob and Charlie from Warrensburg, MO recently delivered wood to make child size PETs. This is the fourth year their neighborhood group delivered cut wood. See attached picture of the pallet of wood they
brought. This is just one example of the many deliveries from our volunteer parts makers over the course of a year from around the country.
*** “There is inherited wealth in this country, and there is inherited
poverty.” – John F. Kennedy
*** Sarah Hill, long time PET story teller, past news anchor and current
board member, has nominated Mel West, PET founder in 1994, for a Salute to
Senior Service award that includes a $ award factor. Go to this link if
you’d like to vote for Mel.
from the website:
“The National Winner’s designated non-profit charity will receive a $5,000
donation, courtesy of Home Instead, Inc., the franchisor of the Home
Instead Senior Care® franchise network. Each Local Winner’s designated
non-profit charity will receive a $500 donation. All Winners will receive
a certificate and a spot in the Contest’s “Wall of Fame” here on
SaluteToSeniorService.com in recognition of their outstanding service.”
Kathy and Susan