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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