“…What do all those people do?” at the PET shop

PET MO-Columbia update 1-14-16

The Columbia Tribune reports that volunteerism is on the decline in
Columbia, and Columbia has an excellent program for volunteers, with a
wealth of retired folks and college students available. But for some
reason the city records a steady decline in volunteerism over the past
three years.

Not so here at PET. A friend said to me last week, “I drove by your shop
and the parking lot was full. What do all those people do?”

Those people do everything there is to do to provide appropriate mobility
for the millions in the world who crawl upon the ground or have to be
carried about. Research says that people are happiest when they are using
the skills and experiences they have gained in their lives to help others
who are less fortunate. PET PLACE IS THE HAPPIEST PLACE IN TOWN!

Here at 1908 Heriford we have an active volunteer list of over 200
persons. At various times and in various wsys they are the ones who make
PET possible. Some work an hour or two a week, but some work 10 or more
hours a week. Some work here at the shop, but many work in their home
shops and send or bring us parts for PETs.

Here is how the idea to use volunteers to build PETs came about.

Back in about 1996, after we had selected the prototype and sent it to
Missionary Larry Hills in Zaire for approval, I needed to start fund
raising for PET as my own personal funds had about run out. I was at a
huge mission meeting of United Methodists in Kansas City. The PET was on
display. A fellow named Clancy Karst, from Laurel, MT, came by and looked
at it. He kicked the tires and turned it over, then said, “Heck, I could
build one of those.” My response was, “When can you start?” He started
building the front forks and sending them to Rodney Miner to be assembled
with other parts.

That was the beginning of this amazing project, done by volunteers.

*******************************************************************************************

“Humility learned now helps us avoid humiliation later.” – Anon

Mel West, Director Emeritus
PET MO – Columbia
1908 Heriford Rd.
Columbia, MO 65202
http://www.giftofmobility.org

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