8 Month Update
It has been 8 months since I resigned from my job to focus on how to build a stable supply of excellent wheelchairs to Mission Hospitals. It has been informative and productive, I have refined and focused the Invigorate strategy, and I feel called to this work, so I know the direction my career and life are headed.
It has also been 8 months without salary and much of the funds I thought were available have not materialized. Our personal support is at 15% of our needs. We are thankful for everyone who has donated and supported us, but I will need to focus on paying work (while continuing to raise support).
In the past 8 months:
I visited Guatemala to meet the team and tour the manufacturing facilities at Beeline Wheelchairs.
I learned more about their durable highly configurable supportive pediatric wheelchair, observed the manufacturing processes, took inventory of their equipment, and began thinking through an expansion strategy.
I traveled to Kenya with the Wheels Project team on a wheelchair research trip.
It was helpful to see how Beeline Wheelchairs are appropriately provisioned and customized to each user and I understand why research is important, to improve durability and to collect feedback from users and therapists.
I joined and interacted with the Catalyst Team.
I learned more about wheelchairs and the Theology of Disability. We facilitated medical clinics, lead trainings, and discussed ways to help Mission Hospitals provide optimal whole person care to people with disabilities.
I met individuals willing to help and leaders from hospitals and organizations providing Assistive Technology.
I was encouraged by the depth of knowledge, innovative solutions, overall willingness to collaborate, and potential for meaningful partnerships to improve procurement, distribution, and provisioning.
I created new art to help raise money for wheelchairs.
I have enjoyed making art again and testing a broader eCommerce strategy to subsidize wheelchairs, which includes selling shirts, Guatemalan coffee, Beeline brackets for shelving, and other products.
I participated in The Hive Camp, a multi-day camp for children using Beeline Wheelchairs.
I loved seeing these children making friends and having fun, which shows why a wheelchair is so important for travel and community interaction. It was also good to see parents and caregivers support each other.
I lead a group of leaders from organizations serving people affected by homelessness in our area.
This helped shape some ideas on how to lead and facilitate Advisory Groups in the future, as well as ways to engage business people in the Church to get involved.
I attended a medical summit and interacted with leaders from amazing organizations serving Mission Hospitals.
I was energized by the networking, shared connections, and the great work these organizations are doing at Mission Hospitals. I also realized Invigorate can help Mission Hospitals in other ways, additional to supplying wheelchairs.
I am helping with the shipping process for a container of 552 Beeline Wheelchairs to Kenya.
The shipment has been delayed by new regulations, so we are working through pre-shipment certifications, but it has been helpful to be involved in shipping, and it demonstrates the need for wheelchair manufacturing in Africa.
I did a lot of writing.
I wrote more than 18,000 words in the business plan, website content, and supporting documents.
I launched the new NVGRT.org site
This site now has all the features to scale Invigorate with education tools (LMS) for training, group management for Advisory Groups, and communications tools to keep everyone updated.
This is compelling and necessary work, to transform lives for good, by helping millions of people to achieve a better quality of life by providing an appropriately provisioned wheelchair through Mission Hospitals. Please consider supporting Invigorate by donating today.