For a number of years we have been involved as a partner in collecting used ink jet cartridges which are recycled to raise funds to assist the PET Mobility Project. P.E.T. is an acronym for Personal Energy Transportation. A corps of over 800 volunteers, mostly seniors, raise the funds, as well as build and ship these sturdy, hand-cranked carts to the disabled throughout the world. PET is faith-based, volunteer-driven and non-sectarian.
Walt Hays, who has served as the volunteer coordinator for PET in Alaska for the past ten years, reports “PET is very grateful for this project that is environmentally sound and assists the disabled. Since January of 2009 13,408 cartridges (by actual count) have been recycled. This has generated over $4,400 in funds; this means that 17 persons now have a PET cart that gives them mobility, dignity and a chance for a better life. My sincere thanks to United Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Lutheran Unitarian congregations and Lions and Leo clubs on the Kenai Peninsula Kodiak Island and Southcentral and Southeast Alaska for their support of this special project.”
This past October Walt and his wife, JoAnn Shore, attended the annual meeting of PET International, the umbrella organization that coordinates the work of the 22 PET Shops (affiliates). In celebration of PET’s 20th anniversary, the guest of honor was Suen Oke of Nigeria, age 27, from Nigeria. Suen was stricken by polio at age ten. Assisted by a US doctor who knew the family, she was taken to Chicago for surgery for scoliosis. She received a PET cart nine years ago and it changed her life. She was able to finish high school and take certificate courses for computer skills. She now lives on her own, has a government job and commutes to work on her PET daily. Suen has become a strong advocate for the needs of the disabled.”
Walt comments, “It was such a joy to meet Suen, one of 50,000 persons whose lives have been transformed by a PET cart. We have now distributed PETs in 100 countries. To learn more about PET and see videos and read stories about the recipients, go to www.petinternational.org.