P.E.T Volunteers Ship Scooters to Africa

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COLUMBIA - Personal Energy Transport volunteers gathered Wednesday morning to send more than 200 scooters and spare parts to Swaziland, Africa. The shipment will benefit 212 handicapped individuals in need of mobility.

About 15 volunteers helped load the truck in less than 2 hours. The shipment includes 202 adult-sized P.E.T.'s and 10 child P.E.T.'s. 

P.E.T. Director and Founder Mel West said he estimates that 30 hours of work are put into building P.E.T devices.

"But if you multiple that times 200 pets then you have a lot of hours," West said. 

The parts going in that truck come from Kansas, Ohio, South Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma. 

"Those people out there care about the leg handicap and buy the materials, make the parts, send it to us at their own expense. No cost to us. Thats why we are able to provide what I think is the biggest bargain and mission today," West said.

The P.E.T has been extensively field tested and is designed to be sturdy for long-term use and provided at a low-cost with donor dollars. The cost includes shipping cost in the U.S. and transporting the shipping container overseas.

"For $250 we can put one of these wheelchairs, called P.E.T's, in the hands of a desperately poor, dehumanized individual in some place in the world," West said.

Many people have lost the use of their legs due to polio, land mine injury, etc. The P.E.T Project is a growing ministry to deliver mobility solutions to those in need in more than 90 countries. 

"It gives people hope. The low income, desperately poor handicap people see somebody on a P.E.T and realize that somebody half a world away cares about them, wants to help and it's going to a considerable extent to help them. It gives everybody hope and builds up the community," West said.

West said the shipment is expected to reach Africa in six weeks.