“HOOKED” ON MAKING A DIFFERENCE Those of you who have seen Jessica in action may know that she carries a metal hook on a suction cup with her, wherever she goes. This simple tool was given to Jess many years ago by the Shriner’s Hospital, and it changed her life. Using her foot, she can stick the implement on the wall, hang her pants on it, stick a leg in and then the other, and she’s dressed! To get undressed she flips the hook over and uses it to pull her pants down. It sounds like nothing but this tool, just as much as her own personal drive and persistence, helped Jessica become independent. So — whenever Jessica meets another person who has no arms, she shows them her hook. During our recent trip to Ethiopia we actually met two boys, Sammi and Tarikou, one of whom didn’t have the use of his arms, the other who had no arms. In both cases Jessica showed off her hook, but at the same time she felt bad about it — where in Ethiopia could their families obtain such a thing? (The hook I should mention, is actually a modified tool that is used to pull auto windshields off!) Anyway long story short, Jessica promised to get hooks to them.
Now, thanks to a generous gift, it’s really going to happen. Mitchell Stern is the owner of All Vac Industries (http://www.allvacindustries.com/) and the manufacturer of Jessica’s hook. We recently contacted him asking if he might help out with this humanitarian mission. Guess what? He generously agreed to not only supply us with hooks for Sammi and Tarikou, but is giving Jessica ten additional units free of charge. These tools would normally cost hundreds of dollars. Now they’ll be given out free of charge, and are going to end up in the feet of people in need, in distant corners of the world. Bless you Mr. Stern, you just made our day!