Volume 7 (PDF Version)

Distributions in Honduras

We work with multiple NGOs who do mission work in Honduras. The PETs are shipped by overseas containers with some going by Dole ships. PET International has an account with Dole now. Dole is giving PET International discounted ocean freight rates into a number of Central American countries, and that has provided a savings for our partners who use them for shipping. Here are stories from Honduras.

Here are excerpts from an October report from Arms of Mercy led by Rick Schommer. They are a repeat distribution partner. We are including the description of the different persons, companies and organizations involved to send these rugged mobility devices at the least cost for those most in need. “Special thanks…Your sacrifice not only changed the lives of those who received a PET, their family, and community, but has also changed us at Arms of Mercy and those involved with helping us distribute these wonderful life changers.” 170 PETs are built by volunteers by our Affiliate, PET FL-Penney Farms. Arturo Vasquez donated the Miami warehouse space and helped load the Dole container. Other loading help came from Christian Health Service Corps and New Hope Corps. Miami Land Express Trucking Co. donated the container transportation to the Dole Colombia Ship. Dole Fruit Co. provided shipping from Miami to Honduras….

“Orlandis Leiva was born with paralysis. Since he was a child he had to be carried around or transported on taxi. Receiving a PET not only gave him mobility, but also the ability to generate income and become a true provider for his wife and kids. With his PET, Orlandis sells food and drinks at a taxi station near his neighborhood. This wonderful device not only impacted a single life, but also the lives of those who love him and have witnessed his life change.” Arms of MercyPET KS-Moundridge organizes annual shipments to Honduras. They combine PETs from PET MO-Columbia. They did another distribution in the Spring of 2010. In November this report and picture came from yet a third Honduran distribution partner. One of their reps came across this lady and sent a report to PET MO-Columbia. It was one given out in 2010.”This young woman drives her PET from Pimienta to Villanueva on the highway most days trying to find things for recycling. Notice the soda cans.” Report from Washington Overseas Mission

PET Affiliates on the move

PET Southwest MO has begun the process of moving and building their own PET shop. The “For Sale” facility they had used inexpensively for years was finally sold. They have bought land and are fundraising to build the shop.

PET FL-Tampa — “After several months of renovation, our wheelchair workshop has now reopened! A lot of square footage has been recaptured, and the layout has been completely redesigned. But we’re back in business now, ready to start shipping out PET vehicles again.” Since the earthquake in Haiti this past January, a number of Affiliates including Tampa have forwarded their PETs to various partner organizations for use there. Some of these partners included Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, Advantage Haiti, Hopital Sacre Coeur Crudem, and Love A Child.

Hundreds of PETs Arrive in Haiti

“May 4, 2010 I recently returned from Deschapelles, Haiti, with my efforts centered at Hospital Albert Schweitzer (HAS), where I had the opportunity to work in the Hanger Klinic. This clinic has recently been established by the Haitian Amputee Coalition. While there, I had the opportunity to work with amazing people who have endured amputations, orthopedic injuries, strokes, burns, and spinal cord injuries. Currently, I am employed as a Physical Therapist in a Seating Clinic with a focus on prescribing wheelchairs for people with all diagnoses including spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, orthopedic limitations, congenital diseases, and other neurological conditions. Prior to my arrival in Deschapelles, I was convinced that I could teach someone to be independently maneuvering their wheelchair on any terrain. I knew there would be limitations, but I had no idea how many. It was almost impossible to push a manual wheelchair independently, even using the wheelie position. It was frustrating for the patient, the family, and me as a health care professional.

During my stay, I met a gentleman who is a bilateral above knee amputee. In his circumstance, he was never provided the opportunity to obtain prosthetic limbs. So, he turned to an alternate form of mobility, the Personal Energy Transportation, or PET cart. This is where HAS came into the picture…. Michelet utilized this PET cart for his primary mobility and accessed his entire community with this device. Upon seeing this and noting the struggles that a person would have if they needed wheeled mobility, it motivated me to use my resources at HAS to obtain an additional PET cart for another patient, Melita…. Melita was able to leave her front porch, and drive the PET cart throughout her community at HAS with minimal assistance. She was so excited that she wanted to continue her training well after our session had finished. HAS was kind enough to donate this PET cart for Melita to use when she returned home after her stay at L’Ecale.

When I returned back to Atlanta, I was so impressed by the increased mobility these assistive devices provided, that I did an internet search…. This device provides the ability to restore independent function and mobility to a strong and resilient people, thereby improving their quality of life. Thank you for all the work you do. Jennith Bernstein, MSPT”

Other Tidbits

Our full time Director of Operations is continually looking for and finding reliable distribution partners. And the partner NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) he has already found and approved continue to put in more orders. Please help us to continue this growth and mission of mobility.

PET resupply to PET Zambia: (Picture of Rev. Delbert Groves; Tom the driver of their truck, Big Blue; and Pastor Kenneth, their field rep, next to a tall load of PETs ready to go out.) PET Zambia is the continuation of the first PET distribution approximately 15 years ago. They can purchase the wood locally, hire locals to weld & assemble, and distribute. But they need supplies (steel, wheelbarrow wheels and tires, bearings, etc.) to complete production. Over all these years different Affiliates have been involved in sending them supplies, completed PETs or funds for delivery over great distances on bad roads. In 2010 PET International asked the entire PET family to participate in the resupply effort providing PET specific parts, off the shelf parts, or cash for purchases and shipping. For 6 months Dave Quirk at PET FL-Penney Farms tirelessly organized this effort, sent out updates to all across the US, and got the shipment out in September. The shipment contained supplies to build 500 PETs in 2011 weighing in at 46,040 lbs. We are grateful for all the PET volunteers who contributed to this major endeavor.

Excerpt of report from Nepal written to Lions members in Alaska who have helped spread the word of PET and financed their production. “It is my great pleasure to get success to the distribution of PETs in Nepal. Although, there were lots of obstacles, the blessing of needy people inspired us to continue such projects. We are grateful for your supports to our developing country. I feel happy for the disabled walking by PETs and involved in income generating program like selling newspapers, flowers, CDs, electronic devices, etc…. PETs are also being popular among farmers because the disabled in the family of farmer occupation need support from others but no one has leisure time to serve them. In such situations, disabled started doing their tasks themselves…. Ramchandra Dahal, member LCI District 325 B Nepal”

For the fourth year PET International had a booth at the Lions International convention. Last July it was held in Australia. Walt Hays, retired minister, Lion and PET volunteer, led the team (Mt. McKinley Lions) that manned and sponsored the booth.

In September 2010 Don Muth, director of PET NY-East Jewett, went to Benin, Africa, to help distribute a shipment of PETs from Affiliate shops in TN, NY and ME. This was his second trip to help with their second shipment.

ADHU (Association for Human Development) receives and distributes their second shipment in El Salvador. Pictured are: Tony Gasbarro, communication and coordination assistant from AK; Alex Segrera, Dole representative; Humberto Rivera Bauz, director of ADHU and PET recipients.

PET sighting from Africa: In December a PET volunteer in MO reported that he was watching a TV documentary on diamond mining in Africa and saw a PET traveling along in one scene.PET production achievements: PET TX-Austin packed their 100th PET in April 2010. A local Methodist Church has for two years challenged its congregation to donate money and time to build a PET for every day of Lent. 41 PETs were built during Lent. PET FL-Penney Farms produced their 4,000 PET since 2001. PET WA-Spokane packed their 633rd PET last June. Some of their last PETs were going to Nicaragua & Mongolia.Syria — We may soon add this country to our list. Venture International reported in their October 2010 newsletter that they were working with Syrian missionaries to send 140 PETs to them for distribution.

Above: 57 PET volunteers attend our Director of Operations workshop on distribution during our Annual Meeting in Holland, MI, last September. Over 100 persons from around the country attended all or part of the 2 day event. All are welcome to attend. Mark your calendars for September 23-24, 2011 at PET KS-Moundridge.

Right: Last April, PETs were distributed in Ecuador by our partner, MedShare. One sells bottled water and the other shines shoes in the square.