December 29, 2015

Mount Up with Wings of Eagles

For those that may not know, Lance loves his brother.  A lot.  He is his best friend, his pride, his purpose and his passion.

When we began talking to Lance about what population he might want to serve for his Boy Scout Eagle project, I did not want to pressure or lead him in any way to do a project for "special needs".  I asked him if he wanted to help the homeless population? parks or schools?? the environment???  He looked at me and simply said, "Mom", to silence my train of thought. He said it with the absolute tone of, "Duh."

"I want to help children with special needs, of course!"

That is where his heart is and I love him all the more for it.

He thought about his project for a couple months and it was when were were donating some of Bridger's old equipment this summer that he had an idea.  He wanted to do a pediatric adaptive equipment drive and collect the equipment, clean it and deliver it to an organization that serves children with special needs in Southern Virginia.

The Eagle took flight.

He created flyers, emails, networked, met with distributors, visited hospitals and schools and logged hundred of miles driving all over the Washington DC area over the course of 8 weeks collecting equipment.  He and I had a great time doing his equipment pickups, jamming out in our mega accessible family van - turned delivery truck.

He lifted and sorted, hauled and even did a test drive. . . just a quality assurance check, of course:)

We especially enjoyed when our deliveries took us in the Alexandria area. . . (ie Krispy Kreme)

He ended up collecting over 70 pieces of equipment!  Most range in value from $5000 - $9000.

For the second part of his Eagle project he organized volunteers for a cleaning day. These chairs and such have been used for daily living. I cannot tell you how gross Bridger's chair can get after just a few weeks.  Cleaning all of the hidden cracks and crevices and under cushions is enough to make you lose your appetite or take the skin off your hands to scrub off.  Likely both.

He had a team of 50 volunteers in stations cleaning, steaming, sanitizing, inspecting and rinsing.  He even had a professional adaptive equipment repairman on site from Rehab Equipment Professionals that would inspect parts and pieces and make repairs onsite to make the equipment as good as new.

The third part of his Eagle project was delivering three cars full with three attached trailers full of equipment down to Children's Assistive Technology Service in Southern Virginia that matches children with special needs with the appropriate adaptive equipment who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

Area therapists met him at the delivery site with "wish lists" for their clients and took equipment right off the trailers.  The other items were tagged for their database and will be loaned upon request to families in need.  This little adaptive bike that was collected by Lance and given a hour long scrubbing by a mother and daughter volunteer duo was immediately snatched up by a therapist to be placed under the Christmas tree with a big red bow for a little girl with special needs.

Lance received a wonderful article from the newspaper down there about his service which also brought a lot of attention to this wonderful organization.

Watching Lance grow in his role as Bridger's brother has taught me so much about selflessness, devotion, patience and unconditional love.

He is, as the prophet Isaiah promised, being mounted up with eagle wings.

Isaiah 40:31 
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; 
they shall mount up with wings as eagles; 
they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.