Earlier this year, Kirby and Christine Goering, of rural Moundridge, approached Peabody resident Keith Timmermeyer, owner of GMLS Industries Incorporated, because they needed to expand facilities at Personal Energy Transportation-Kansas.
PET-Kansas is part of an international charity that constructs and donates carts for people in Third World countries.
Larry Hills founded the charity after working as a missionary in Africa, Goering said. Goering worked with Hills in Africa in 1969 and 1970.
Hills noticed that wheelchairs weren’t suitable for the rough terrain in poor countries, so he started PET in 1995. The carts the company makes have three wheels, a seat, and a box to carry things. They are powered by a hand-crank mechanism similar to a bicycle.
The Goerings opened PET-Kansas in 2004. The entire international organization has only one paid employee, Kirby Goering said.
Timmermeyer visited the site in Moundridge to learn more about it. He said he saw the amount of effort the Goerings and other volunteers contribute to change people’s lives for the better. Seeing that, he decided to donate the extension, which his company finished at the end of November.
Before the expansion, PET-Kansas was able to construct nearly one cart per day. Kirby Goering expects to increase that rate following the expansion.
Ron Goodwin, of Burns, also is involved with PET-Kansas. He builds some of the steel components for the carts.
In 2009, the charity delivered 190 carts to people who needed them in the Central American nation Honduras. The charity will return to Honduras April 13 through 20.