Mobility and Profitability in Vietnam
Thuong lost both legs and the use of an index finger in a land mine explosion during the Vietnam War.
"He stepped on a land mine so since 1968, he's been crawling," PET Volunteer Director Steve Baima explained.
Thuong doesn't make enough money to cover the cost of a wheelchair. In place of legs, he uses two wooden stools.
"I don't think any of us realize what it's like to live without legs, to crawl on the ground," West said. "It is not right that fellow human beings are forced to crawl on the ground all their lives perhaps simply because they stepped on a land mine somebody else planted. Simply because they got polio which is not their fault. Simply because they have a leg handicap that they had nothing to do with. It's only right that they should receive the best possible mobility that we can give them."
The PET Project started more than a decade ago in Columbia. Now shops around the world build and assemble the three wheeled hand cranked carts called PETs, or personal energy transportation.
"This one lady she was so grateful and she said, 'You know it's just going to be wonderful. I don't' have to crawl through the mud anymore when it rains.' The other lady said, 'Yeah, I don't have to crawl through the sharps rocks and get all cut up,'" Florida PET Director Larry Hills said.
The PETs are popular in part because of a compartment built onto them. It allows women in Africa to carry water or take vegetables to market. The PET provides not only mobility but profitability as well.
"Providing mobility is life transforming. Just because these folks have difficulty traveling doesn't mean they don't have tremendous mental skills, entrepreneurial skills. But, you just can't express those. There's virtually no hopes because of the physical impairment," Baima said.
After nearly 40 years of walking with stools, Thuong doesn't have to crawl through the streets to deliver shoes, thanks to the generosity of Missouri volunteers.
It costs the PET Project of Columbia $250 to build, assemble and ship a single PET. Some area churches and vacation bible school programs are already raising money to send the carts overseas.
How You Can Help the Columbia PET Project
Tennis Balls (even the old ones that have lost their bounce are a thrill for a child who has never had a ball)
Wire Coat Hangers (Wire is at a premium in poor countries)
Good condition used clothes and shoes
Good condition toys
The above items are used as packing materials for the PETs .
Find People with welding, metalworking, or woodworking skills who will agree to help build PET parts. Help them with expenses--buy the metal, etc. Help them ship it to The PET Place in Columbia, Missouri USA.
Find Businesses that sell or make "off the shelf" items needed for the PETs. Get them to donate or sell to you at no profit. Send the items to the PET Place.
Talk about the PET Project. Promote. Gossip about it. Say to folks in conversation, "Our church is doing a fascinating mission project..." Tell the story.
Order a Vacation Bible School Kit.
To donate by mail, please print out our donation form and send it along with your donation to:
PET MO - Columbia
1914 Heriford Road
Columbia, MO 65202 USA
Gifts from the Heart
Honor your loved ones while helping to provide another person with mobility. Two gifts in one, a Gift from the Heart celebrates a special occasion, in honor of, or in memory of while supporting the work of The PET Project. A note will be sent to the person being honored, and all Gifts from the Heart will be listed in our next semi-annual newsletter. This gift information can be filled out on our donation form.
As you consider estate planning, consider making the PET Project a part of those plans. The need for the GIFT OF MOBILITY is an ongoing need with millions around the world awaiting it.
The PET Project's Promise to Donors and Volunteers
We promise to keep you regularly informed as to how the PET Project is investing your donations of money, time, energy and skills to make a difference around the world.
We promise to seek out God's "least of these" persons and direct your resources to changing their lives.
We promise to serve the needs of people as a Christian ministry, but without regards to race, religion, sexual preference or other such factors. We promise to be true to our mission, that of providing THE GIFT OF MOBILITY to those most in need.
We promise to be truthful and frank in our fundraising efforts, and not to create a monthly crisis, or otherwise unduly make emotional pleas for your support. We do rely upon your gifts. It is the simple fact that the more you give the more people The PET Project can help.
We promise financial fidelity. We will work efficiently, making the most of every dollar or other gifts that you provide. Using the gifts of volunteers and networking with cooperating agencies, we will make every effort to get the most possible mission out of every gift you give. Strict accounting and an annual audit will be standard procedure.
We promise to never sell or share our donor list. All your information will be strictly confidential.