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PUSH INTERNATIONAL
January 25, 2011

I am in my second year of Occupational Therapy school and this was my second trip to Padres y Compadres with Push International. The experiences I encountered, as well as the relationships and bonds that have been created will stay with me forever. The trip has changed my life. I have learned so much from the leaders of Push and was able to gain hands on experience with the children at PyC and those receiving equipment on distribution days, which is something we don’t get enough of in our coursework.

On the trip, we were given the opportunity to go on a home visit, play and provide therapy for the children at Padres y Compadres, explore with children in the vestibular and sensory rooms, observe hippotherapy, as well as observe and participate in feeding and positioning clinics. In the afternoons, we collaborated in teams of 2-3 to distribute wheelchairs and other equipment. We started at distribution #903 and were able to make it to 1,000 by the end of the week. It was an honor to be a part of the team to reach 1,000 donations for Push International, what an amazing moment! We worked hard all week, and it was remarkable to be able to top it off with such a milestone for Push.

After my first trip, I remembered the feeling of accomplishment after hours of hard work on a wheelchair, but forgot how it truly felt as we placed a person in THEIR new chair for the first time. This year, it wasn’t just about fixing or finding suitable equipment (although it was a huge part), it was about the connections made through laughter, smiles, tears and stories shared with the families and individuals that I will remember the most. I enjoyed serving the families and providing them with a whole new life. I loved being a part of the experience as someone received a chair or other equipment for the first time and was amazed by the gratitude and bond that was created during these experiences. The trip has changed my outlook on life, as well as the person and therapist I want to be.

The main goal for going to Mazatlan was to help those in need and provide them with adequate equipment to interact with their community and the world. I soon found out that the trip was actually changing me and providing me with a different outlook on therapy and the therapeutic use of self to make a difference in someone’s life. I hope I have impacted those in Mazatlan as much as they have impacted me.

I had an unforgettable week. I am so grateful to have shared this experience with truly amazing people. I want to thank all those with Push International, the Felton Foundation, the translators, everyone at Padres y Compadres, and the rest of Team 20 for such an incredible trip!

Jessica Foust

“Often we set out to make a difference in the lives of others only to discover we have made a difference in our own.” - Ellie Braun-Haley

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Mazatlan, Mexico

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No changes are needed.

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Assembled and distributed mobility equipment.