December 2012

Volume 11 (PDF version)

 PETs Carts Enable Those With Leprosy

Do you read about or hear about leprosy in the US? Likely not. We learned years ago that PETs can help those affected by leprosy. Leprosy tends to lead to the loss of a person’s extremities like fingers and toes. When they lose these, it is difficult to walk or grip a wheelchair wheel. But they can “palm” PET handles.

In April 2005 PET received its first story of such from Children’s Medical Ministries in Thailand. Their newsletter reported that 40 PETs were given to a leper colony. Beginning in 2005 PETs began going to American Leprosy Missions for their work in Angola. Their website says that there are 250,000 new cases each year with 10% being children. There is a multi-drug treatment that can take 6 months to over a year.

Here comes another story in 2012 of how PET is helping this special group of people. A July email report to our director of operations came from Global Outreach Mission, who received PETs for a mission hospital in the Democratic Republic
of Congo for the first time in 2011. Dr. Look first found out about PET when he met our director of operations at the TECH conference in 2010. (We began sending shipments of PETs to Samaritan’s Purse in 2009.)

“Dear Von Driggs, I appreciated so much your arranging for three PET carts to be loaded some time ago into a container at Samaritan’s Purse destined for the Pioneer Christian Hospital at Impfondo, Republic of Congo. I spent the month of May this year at that hospital and worked part of the time with the leprosy patients who live at a residence in a village called Gangania, about five miles from Impfondo. One of the leprosy patients, Michel, is shown in the attached photo with his cart that means so much for his mobility. He is able to travel on his own from the lepers’ residence to the hospital for his treatment. God bless you richly for this wonderful gift of transportation.

In Christ, Dr. John Look, Director Global Health Services, Division of Global
Outreach Mission”

 PET Gets a Renovation in Honduras

Last July we received this report from Honduras.

“Dear Mel and Others,

In early June I was on a bus in La Antigua, a small town in the far southeast part of Honduras, and saw a PET along the street. Unable to stop at that point, I had to go back later and find out about the PET. It belongs to Xavier, a 9 year old boy who was born with legs that don’t work properly. His mother had gone to San Pedro Sula about 4 – 5 years ago and was given the PET by a church.

Xavier is a happy young man who is able to go to school with the PET, riding it about 12 blocks on some very rough streets. He also sells oranges out of it along the streets in an effort to get new tires that are needed soon. He carries his walker in the back and can move slowly with it in places that the PET will not go.

….Xavier’s PET has been cared for and maintained but is showing wear. The wheels, chain, and sprockets had been greased recently…..I know that you like to get reports of good things that have happened, and this is one of them. God bless everyone who helps with the PET Project in any way. Ralph McClurg“

Mr. McClurg told the family he would be back in September and would try to bring Xavier new tires. He was going to work with the PET Southwest MO crew to try to get new tires as he is located closest to them. This is an example of PET’s longevity, the importance of the standardization of the PET, and our PET Friends working together to help persons with mobility. We have made changes to the PET to help with durability and long term use, but kept dimensions the same for replacement parts years later as in this case. (pictured: old tires off and new ones on with new paint on his PET)

 August Notes From our Great Distribution Partners

Both of these partners are newer to our PET organization.

“…Our lives and ministry have been uplifted by the ministry of PET… Carol
and Ron McDonald of CHaRA” They are based in NC and do work in
Tanzania/East Africa.

“Von, These are some persons with disabilities who are benefiting from our
training activities after being given mobility aids and assistance. Both
adults and young are now becoming self-reliant. Adults who used to beg are
no longer doing that now, young ones who were failing to attend schools are
now in schools…..

Indeed a new chapter has started in their lives.

Thanks, God bless you all. My regards, George Chimpiko
Kuthandiza Osayenda Disability Outreach (KODO)” in Malawi

 Other Tidbits

Distribution Partner reports:

8/14/2012 email from Thailand:
“Dear Mr. Driggs: Today my wife and I delivered one of the adult PET carts to our local post office where it will be shipped via post to the Abbott of a rural Buddhist temple called “Wat Kiri” which is located in Tambol Chamrak, Amphur Muang, Chiangwat Traat, Thailand.
Our understanding is that the temple Abbott is unable to walk due to a stroke and one other temple monk is unable to walk due to a traffic accident which not only left him permanently disabled but also killed his younger sister and mother. The two monks will share the Pet cart. The temple is rural and apparently has very little means.
Unlike many countries, our postal service does accept very large items such as the cart. Postage came to $72 as Traat Province is quite far from Chiang Mai along the sea near the border with Cambodia. Thought you might like to share this with your supporters as an example of Christian compassion for Buddhist clergy. Nobody at the temple seems to own a camera. Sorry about that.
Warm regards. Donald Willcox, Founder & President
Foundation To Encourage The Potential Of Disabled Persons & Freedom Wheelchairs”

PET production achievements and goals:

In July we received this email report from the Affiliate in process in Australia “…We have received a couple of packs of Timber for the PETs and it has all been cut up. We have enough to make 40-45 cases. We hope to have them made in the next 4 weeks. David Phillips” David received training at our site in FL in February 2012. Once they have some PETs fully assembled, one of our board trustees has agreed to go and inspect them before any shipping takes place. They are part of the Lions organization and already ship overseas containers of mission goods to the South Pacific Basin, India, Sri Lanka and the east coast of Africa. PETs will be an additional item to offer to those most in need.

 PETs Continue to Ship Out of New York

PET NY-East Jewett became an Affiliate in 2004 as the 4th ever to start production. They hosted our annual meeting and conference in 2007. Their founder, Don Muth, has been to Benin, Africa, to participate in a distribution of his NY made PETs which he reported on at our 2009 conference. Don is also one of our current board members.

In May these pictures came. They were loading a shipment for Lions Club members in India. Lions Clubs have received multiple shipments for distribution in India. (Don Muth is pictured at the right of the truck driver.)

   

 Affiliate Has Changes

PET IA-Hawarden became an Affiliate in 2007. They have been dedicated and steady in their PET production of the adult crank PET. They are very close to our first and possibly largest distribution partner, Hope Haven International Ministries in IA; so they deliver their PETs there for worldwide shipments. They produce 3 to 4 PETs a week on average. To date they have produced over 700 PETs.

This summer two of their founders passed. Don Hummel and Leo Anderson had led their group. Their enthusiasm just oozed from them as they went to churches and organizations to promote this great ministry and kept this Affiliate producing PET carts. After their passing, Lanny Booth, a cousin of Don Hummel, stepped up to do the presentations for this group. He, along with Ron Green and the Pastor, did a presentation at a church on September 30, 2012. That church raised $2,500 that day for 10 PETs. What joy that day but, again, tragedy hit this group. Lanny died on October 1 at his home. Three wonderful men who will be greatly missed. Ron Green is now their president. They are regrouping and carrying on the mission of PET. We will miss Don and Leo and wish their team well in the coming years. (Picture of team with Don, green shirt, and Leo, blue jacket, in the center.)

Annual Meeting & Workshop Conference in Texas

We had 61 registrants attend our conference hosted by our Affiliate, PET TX-Brazos Valley. Plus other guests attended all or part of the conference. We held workshops on topics like administration; PET—Models, Designs, Materials, Modifications; and shop safety—welding. We were also privileged to hear from several of our reliable partners who deliver our PETs around the world. We had an energizing conference, the board had its required once a year face to face meeting, and all in a terrific facility with great hosts.

In addition, we recognized retiring Volunteer Executive Director, Steve Baima. He was already a PET volunteer when PET International came into being. On our November 2004 certificate of a MO nonprofit corporation, Steve Baima is listed as the registered agent. For eight years he faithfully served as our VED. Now he will work on special projects for our organization and continue as an advisor. (pictured: Kathy Maynard, Treasurer, Steve Baima, and Jim Wrinkle, Board President) All are welcome to attend. Watch our website for details next summer under the tab/link “Annual Meeting”.