PET is a faith-based, volunteer-powered, humanitarian, and world-wide organization, operating as tax-exempt 501(c)(3) under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
PET began in 1994.
The PET has been extensively field tested and is designed to be:
- STURDY, in order to provide services for the rider for many years
- SIMPLE, to be easily maintained in outpost conditions
- LOW-COST, so the donor dollar can serve as many as possible – $300. This includes some shipping cost to a US point for loading onto an overseas shipping container.
The average amount per PET was chosen by our founder in 1994 and remained that way for over 20 years. In 2015 $300 is now mandated to better reflect today’s cost in production. It was highly discussed for months by PET International before the change was made for all PET sites as an average expense $ to promote. Our shop contributed information to this discussion.
PET began in 1994 when Larry Hills, missionary in Zaire (now Congo), Africa, told Reverend Mel West of the great need for three-wheeled, hand-cranked wheelchairs for victims of polio and landmines. Mel contacted Earl Miner, product designer and long-time friend and mission partner, and the process of the prototype design began.
In 1995, When prototype development was ready for field testing, four were shipped to Larry Hills with the instructions to put these in the worst place you can find, and see if they pass the test. Larry did, and the PETs did. Shipments began to Zaire, where Larry had set up a place to receive the frames, put on the wooden beds, and distribute them. See history for the full story.
PET Project Philosophy
The PET Project is not wed to just this particular model of machine. Besides raising funds for building PET vehicles, we collect other used mobility devices such as canes, foldable walkers, crutches, and wheelchairs. Even if they need minor repairs/replacement parts, we receive and send them on to one of our distribution partners, Hope Haven International Ministries, in Iowa. Their volunteers refurbish used mobility devices and distribute along with PETs in many countries.
Our goal is the Gift of Mobility for all of God’s people in need. We will cooperate and share with anyone working toward that goal. We seek to involve lay persons in the Church as major servants in this mission. We want to work with all groups, religious or secular and seek to provide mobility first for those in greatest need and with least resources. We are open to serve and work with those whose lord is not Jesus.
Places of Use
PET Project has sent mobility to the following countries to date:
- Zambia: The steel supplies and solid rubber tires for the PET are shipped there via container, and the wooden part (we call this the ‘bed’) is made locally and then distributed. Sometimes we ship the completed PET. At one time, they had 4,400 persons on a waiting list.
- Other areas: Afghanistan, Armenia, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brasil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, Dominican Republic, Djibouti, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Gaza, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Botswana, Republic of CÃ´te d’Ivoire, Republic of Congo, Republic of Latvia, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Swaziland,Tajikstan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Bank, Western Sahara, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have all received one or more PETs.