The painting project we’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks, I’m going to abandon. Having searched the Inland NW and the Internet for what we need, I’ve come to the conclusion we’re making something very complicated and costly for a simple problem. My thinking is to hold back some raw metal inventory (brakes, brake handles, frames, etc.) and send the rest, as we normally do, to our powder coater. Some of you will remember when I painted steel parts out in the pasture. Our winter weather stopped that along with the graciousness of Apex. Here’s a current illustration. We are down to 2 brake handles in the PET Shop but we have over 40 out at Apex and they will eventually be powder coated, If we had kept back some inventory, We could use spray paint from cans to prepare inventory until Apex has time to powder coat the brake handles. We have been given a unit of lumber. It will be delivered Thursday. I don’t yet know the donor but will send a “Thank You” as soon as I get the details. Our painters have been busy in the Paint Barn and I’m hoping Cindy is back and has time to take down the painted boards and flour them. We are half way to our next shipment. Snowbird PET-Kin are slowly returning from the South. One is still in Australia. So the shifts are starting to fill up and production is happening. When I left on Monday there was 2 PETs but they have been packed and three more replaced them today. I was made aware today that not everyone is aware of the new tool we are shipping with every PET. It is “holstered” in the fork and is designed to help PET recipients keep the chain tight. It has been added to the builder’s checklist and the inventory is kept right behind the builder’s station. There’s a lot of PET-Kin action on the West side and in Alaska. Bill called from Anchorage notifying us of more seats being build and will be shipped to Auburn. As soon as we get the plans for the new seat, I’ll send a copy to Bill. Closer to home in Kent and Woodinville and Marysville, PET-Kin are cutting wood and painting the parts they make. That’s a huge help to have their production arrive here already painted. Through amazing Providences of God, we have made contact with an orthopedic surgeon who takes medical teams to Peru. Dr. Bramwell saw a picture of a Rainbow PET in Peru and wants to involved. Lois and I are working to make a trip to Robert and the Lions in Chilliwack, BC. Right now it looks like the middle of June. I go back to Seattle twice in May and then in July I will make a trip to Maine to see my sister and enjoy a 55th HS reunion.
The essay that follows will be printed in a Forester magazine and will go to 3000 people interested in that industry:
PET stands for Personal Energy Transporter. PET International is a non-profit organization that has been successfully distributing hand cranked mobility devices known as PETs to victims of landmines, polio, and other debilitating afflictions since 1996. The organization began distribution of PET wheelchairs to Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) and currently works with 46 NGO’S worldwide to distribute PETs to 101 different countries primarily in Africa, Eastern Europe, and South East Asia. In 2013, 5,682 PETs were built with the cooperation of 23 shops nationwide, at an approximate donation cost of $1,420,500. Their mission is to give the “gift of mobility”—a capability people often take for granted.
Branching off from PET international are many local Affiliates who coordinate collection of raw materials, cutting, painting and mechanical assembly of PETs, as well as facilitate their overseas shipment to those in need. Washington State is home to its own local Affiliate of PET and the unique “Rainbow PET” (pictured below). Based out of Spokane, the Inland Northwest PET Project extends to Anchorage, Alaska and British Columbia as well as parts of Idaho and Oregon. The Affiliate relies solely on donated funds and materials, and recently completed their 1732nd PET for shipment abroad. In 2014, WA PET hopes to assemble and distribute 360 units to add to their total; However, relying on donated goods leaves this goal in the hands of others and the PET-Kin.
Tom Waggener, Professor Emeritus and former CINTRAFOR Director at the University of Washington, donates his own time, money, woodworking skills and resources to this cause. Waggener has noticed a decline in the in kind donations the WA PET chapter receives. He described the materials needed to produce these life changing PETs to those in the most need. He hopes that the lumber community could be of help. The longest piece of wood required to build a PET is 36 in. They are usually constructed with medium to low-grade wood materials (2A or better), with high preference for anything but pine. Cedar when available offers enhanced durability of the finished product that are often used on rugged terrain. In order to produce 360 PETs this year, the WA PET Affiliate would need approximately 10,000 board feet. Reaching this goal depends on donated lumber from mills around WA State and in-kind donations of paint, storage space, and woodshop use from local volunteers. If you are able to donate any materials or services that would assist the WA PET chapter, you would help to give the gift of mobility to more people currently unable to move, or crawling, from place to place on a daily basis.
The “Rainbow PET”- A WA Original
Designed to brighten the spirit of their recipients, and provide unique PET qualities for each recipient. Each PET is estimated to cost approximately $250 and is funded entirely by donations. The PETs are given free of charge to each recipient. Each PET provides a resource for the disabled recipient, as well opportunity for the family they often support.