After many delays and changes throughout the fall season, we were finally able to ship out 165 wheelchairs plus mobility aids out of our collection points in Colorado and Washington in December! Most wheelchairs come to our storage facilities by way of our growing network across Colorado, Kansas, Washington and Texas. Bridge Ministries, Goodwill, VA Hospitals, local nursing homes, therapy centers and individuals among many more contacts. The truck started in Seattle, loading up half of the 53' long trailer bound for Mazatlan, Mexico. Many wonderful dedicated volunteers helped load the equipment and we were able to send the container on its way to Colorado Springs to pick up the other half of the equipment.
We had many volunteers to help stage equipment, get things ready the day before planned loading. Many brave souls came through early the next very cold morning, but no truck. They were unable to load as planned due to mechanical trouble. There was some disappointment, but also hope that the truck would arrive in 4 days.
Four days later, Jeff made a very last minute call to volunteers willing to brave the elements, once again. (Why is it we always seem to load up wheelchairs in the bitter cold?) They immediately came over to help! After working out in the wind for an hour on yet another COLD day in Colorado and a warm cup of joe, the truck was finally on it's way. THANK YOU TO ALL!
These wheelchairs will be distributed by our January, March and June teams. There is still room to Come join us!
Rita's Visit to Washington!
Where Stars Align and Dreams Converge
It would have been an extravagant expense in a time of tight budgets - in an economy where belt tightening is the order of the day... How could Push's budget-conscious Directors authorize costs to fly our Mexican partner to Washington state to join the entire Board and so many of our supporters assembled for at the Annual Fundraiser in Woodinville, WA?
Here is where the stars begin to align…
Push received a generous donation from a local pilot who offered to fly Rita Correa Meraz to Seattle in his private plane. Many of you know that Rita is the "presidenta" of the Association of Padres y Compadres where Push staffs its Hub # 1 in Mexico. Then - more stars aligning - another donor offered his airline miles to use for her return flight. But that only set the stage for what was to be a whirlwind agenda filled with action – all packed into a short 10-day visit.
Here is where dreams begin to converge…
Rita's appearance at the Fall Fundraiser brought great delight, lots of hugs and kisses and a room full of smiles from the many volunteers who have spent so many days in-country with her, with the children, and with the moms and families of Padres y Compadres and others those we serve. Memories flooded back. Stories were told. Warmth filled the space to the brim. Emotions ran high. One guest said to me, "I can't speak Spanish, but I can feel the emotion in here tonight."
Rita spoke to the guests through bilingual Push Director Viola Zavala-DeBoo. Push reenacted the ceremony where Rita and Padres y Compadres was honored last May in Mazatlan as the "Woman in Action for 2009". It was powerful. When Rita invited guests and donors to visit anew saying, "Mi casa es su casa", no translation was needed and the room burst out into a loud and lengthy applause.
During her stay in the homes of various Directors and supporters, Rita was interviewed by the local Spanish newspaper “La Raza”, met a variety of local donors and Church groups and spoke with professors in the Occupational Therapy and Spanish Language departments at the University of Puget Sound. Later during the week, Rita visited a supplier of equipment for vision impaired people and consulted with Rosemary White, OTR the Lead Clinician and owner of a local childrens’ clinic specializing in therapies for persons with autism. Finally, Rita visited a wheelchair service and maintenance shop in Bellevue to better understand how Push wants to expand its workshop on our shared campus in Mazatlán in 2010.
Padres y Compadres hosts, houses and feeds Push Volunteer Teams while Push maintains a sustainable supply of mobility equipment and brings therapy into the lives of persons with disabilities and their families throughout the Mexican state of Sinaloa. And there the dreams converge!