PET MO-Columbia update 6/23/14

Build to date since 1-1-14 #650

It is good to be a part of a worldwide movement. It is important to be
ready when public attitudes change. In my earlier years there was a
worldwide attitude toward hunger and starvation that was a sort of ho-hum
attitude–“That is natures’s way of controlling populations, ” or, “If they
would just work hard like I do, they would not be hungry.”

n the early 1970’s, with much better worldwide communications via TV,
that attitude began to change. Hunger and starvation was no longer
acceptable. Seeing starving children on TV could no longer be excused. At
that moment we developed The Festival of Sharing here in Missouri–focused
strongly on feeding the hungry and in helping them find ways to feed
themselves via ECHO, Heifer, CWS, etc. The movement was on. Six other states
joined to start their own ingatherings, and all are still going strong.
Hunger and starvation is no longer acceptable.

Prior to the 1980’s housing was not on the front burner of people’s minds.
Shack housing was accepted as a fact of life for billions. Then in the
1970’s a small group of folks near Americus, GA, called Koinonia Farm, and
headed by Millard Fuller and Clarence Jordan, began to say that bad housing
was a major problem for the poor, and that by eradicating bad housing we
could make a major improvement in the lives of poor families. President
Jimmy Carter joined the movement and the march from Amerucus, GA, to Kansas
City, MO (1,000 miles) shouting “No more shacks.” Habitat has now built over
800,000 new homes with the poor, and has brought the need for decent housing
for all into a world-wide movement.

Appropriate mobility for the leg-handicapped is now emerging as a
world-wide movement. Hope Haven International, of Rock Valley, IA, and
others, had been beating that drum for years when PET joined them in the
1990’s. Now, with the technology available to tell the story, seeing a
leg-handicapped person crawling upon the ground is no longer acceptable. The
immediate reaction now is, “Do something. Get them a PET.” More and more as
I travel and begin to tell folks about PET, they say, “Oh, yes. I know about
that. It is a good project.”

The June 22 issue of “Bloomberg Businessweek” has a story of an example
of that movement. A group has developed the “Tankchair.” It is a wheelchair
with tracks like a small army tank. It can be controlled by the head
movements of paraplegics. The rider can go hunting or fishing with no fear
of getting bogged down. It is, of course, extremely high priced and far
beyond the means of most, but it does indicate the direction of the


“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of
moments that take our breath away.” – Maya Angelou

Mel West

*** PET International conference coming October 7 & 8. PET MO-Columbia is
the host this year helping to celebrate the 20th anniversary of PET, which
started thru our shop. Here is a save the date info sheet attached. All
are welcome to register. We especially invite local volunteers and
supporters to the Celebration Dinner which will have a separate dinner fee
for those not attending the 2 day event. Seun Oke, PET user from Nigeria,
has her visa approved and will be the main program at the Celebration
Dinner. Soon details with workshop titles and registration costs will be
going out. There will be a variety of ways local folks can help host the
conference. Mike McMillen is the lead for PET MO-Columbia. I also work
for PET International and will be handling registrations for the conference.
Kathy Maynard

*** Update on new wheelchair factory in Guatemala:

June 19, 2014 email update

“Dear Friends,
It has been a while since I have sent out an email update to everyone. It has been just over a year since we moved our wheelchair factory in Antigua, Guatemala 1/2 an hour away to Santo Domingo, Xenacoj. After 5 years in Antigua we had out grown our facility and needed to be in a facility that we could build more pediatric wheelchairs but also provide a better service to the recipients.

“Please take 4 minutes and see this video of what we have done over the past year.”

Kindest regards,

Mark Richard, Director of Operations
Hope Haven International
Santo Domingo Xenacoj, Sacatepéquez, Guatemala, Central America

[June 2014 video has new factory and all services they provide, no PETs shown in this video. Mark and the work of HHI are included in the Wheels video that is our current, main promotional video. HHI was one of our first distribution partners including our PETs and other collected, used mobility devices in their distributions. Kathy Maynard]

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