A number of congregations (United Presbyterian, Lutheran, United Methodist and Roman Catholic) Lions Cubs and LEOS (the Lions youth organization) throughout Alaska have been collecting and recycling inkjet cartridges for a number of years to assist the disabled of the world.
Funds raised by this effort assist Mobility Worldwide (formerly the PET Project) in providing a sturdy, three wheeled, hand cranked cart for those who lack mobility due to polio, landmine injury, war amputation and birth defects. The carts are built by a corps of some 800 volunteers in 23 shops across the USA and in Zambia.
Walt Hays, a senior advisor for Mobility Worldwide, states “this project has been in place since January of 2009 and by actual count, we have recycled 17,820 ink jets. The funds we have raised have provided carts to those in need around the world and purchased materials so we could build parts here in Alaska. and ship them to our shops. Over 450 carts (cost $300 each) have been underwritten by this effort and donations from Alaskans – churches, service clubs and concerned individuals. In the past 22 years, 58,000 of these carts have been distributed free in 103 countries world-wide.
Volunteers from Alaska have had the great joy of personally delivering these carts in Sri Lanka, S. Sudan, Cameroon, Kenya, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. These two photos help tell the story. The man from Honduras (2006) supports his family by using his cart as his truck in his work as a stone mason. Merlin, 36, from Haiti (2015) was disabled when he contracted polio as a little boy. He supports himself as a handyman and repairs bikes and motorcycles. The cart is a mainstay of his life and he drove it to his wedding!
Our latest check from this project will underwrite a cart for a child in Haiti. Volunteers from our shop near Pella, I will be travelling in February, 2017 and working with the charity, Many Hands for Haiti. They will deliver 140 carts.”
To learn more about this great humanitarian cause and see photos, stories and videos go to Mobility Worldwide.