Care on wheels

Pumpers show community power

June 18, 2005

Care gets around.

Some “Angel Donors” in Hood River put that feeling on four wheels with the donation of new mobility equipment for Hood River County School District special needs students.

Power Pumpers, nifty black-and-red four-wheel vehicles, are now under control of students at schools in the district. The donors in this case are Rotary Club and Foundation, and Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, which put up the $2,000 for the person-powered Pumpers. Please see Features: 'Power in Pumpers' for details.

The gift of the Power Pumpers is a prime example of community partnerships in action. Kudos to the two groups for seeing the need and responding.

To date, the Oregon City-based Mobility Foundation, which manufactures the pumpers, has delivered 60 of the vehicles to various clinics or specific special needs kids, utilizing the volunteer Angel Donor program. In the words of founder Mike Jones, “It is such a simple thing: Being able to move from one point to another, without having to have someone carry you or push you. Our goal is to help these special children help themselves to do exactly that.”

The pumpers will serve the schools in practical ways; special needs children are like any other youngster in that their needs and challenges change over time, and new tools and experiences help them develop.

Kelly Beard said it all. “We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to keep students interested in progression of their mobility and gross motor skills,” said Beard, district special education coordinator.

“It keeps the kids interested and motivated in doing it. It’s just fantastic we have equipment of our own. It’s always fantastic to see community agencies and partners come together to provide a donation like this for our kids.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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