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Mobilize Mankind

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Health, Health Care, International, International Relief, Recycling

Mission: 1. Create and integrate a mobility and quality of life program within the existing mexican medical and educational systems operating in baja california sur. Mobimex is not only a wheelchair program but a quality of life program dedicated to following "our" children as their medical and educational needs change due to growth or changes in abilities. 2. To do this by providing custom fit orthopedic equipment e. G. Specialized wheelchairs, standers, walkers and lifts. 3. Support educational access and assistive technology. 4. Provide continuing education and training in collaboration with mexican healthcare and educational professionals as well as families of children with special needs and the children themselves. 5. To provide referral services and medical consultation for children with orthopedic and/or complicated medical conditions through referrals to shriners hospitals and/or consultation with our visiting physicians. 6. Provide prosthetics and orthotics for children. 7. Promote physical therap

Programs: New wheelchair center: in march, as a community response to our urgent need of space to make a mobimex center in los cabos, professora miriam gmez rivera of the cabo san lucas special education school prepared and presented a powerpoint presentation on the work mobilize mankind has been doing over the last 14 years. In attendance were regidor daniel arreola elizondo, head of the commission of education, recreation and sports and professor ren hernandez, head of regional services of los cabos, as well as, teachers and their assistants, parents and children, therapists and the press. Professora glenda cesea, also from the special education school, supported the event by inviting the press and helping mobilize mankind reach the greater community with this urgent need. Because of these community efforts, a large space was found only one block away from the csl special education school! In april of 2016, mobilize mankind moved into our new wheelchair assembly and distribution center which included warehouse space for storing, assembling, refurbishing and distributing wheelchairs and other orthopedic equipment,before we could move in however, the building needed to be cleaned, painted and some repairs made. The community once again arose and students from the special education school, supervised by their principle and teachers, put on the first coat of paint donated by local businesses. Next the los cabos public works department contributed the finish paint work and moved the stored mobilize mankind wheelchairs, assembly materials, tools and work benches into the new center. Help was also received from the newly established institute for people with disabilities. Since moving in:oover fifty (50) new wheelchairs have been assembled at the center, valued at $25,000. Oforty (40) recycled wheelchairs have been refurbished. Oon may 7, 2016, the first wheelchair/equipment distribution in the new center took place. Oin the fall of 2016, thirty (30) kid chair wheelchairs assembled in our new wheelchair center were donated to dif la paz for their distribution in la paz. Springbreak 2016: all but one member of the mobilize mankind board of directors came to cabo san lucas for the annual springbreak project of 2016. The team of six (6) specialists provided evaluations, training and assistance with custom fitting equipment and wheelchair distributions. Approximately 30 participants including teachers, assistants, parents and students attended training courses provided by our team this week. The following topics were presented: visual supports, receptive and expressive communication both verbal and non-verbal, choice making, eye gaze, sign language, picture exchange, voice output devices and the use of assistive technology, building independence, imitation/matching/touch point math, autism, social stories and sensory areas. Ongoing wheelchair distributions and evaluation clinics: mobimex evaluates the individuals as their needs change and provides the family with consultation and new equipment. Now, with our new wheelchair center open 5 days a week, wheelchair distributions are taking place on a weekly basis rather than only during wheelchair distribution events. Children and adults have been seen primarily in the new center in los cabos in addition to some home visits, evaluations and distributions in la paz. Totals 50 custom wheelchairs, 30 walkers, 2 lifts, 2 adapted wheelchair tables in addition to the prosthetics and orthotics clinic in november, and the genetics clinic in february. In addition, trained mexican physical therapists at the special education schools in la paz are continually adjusting and exchanging the custom wheelchairs for their students. Hurricane relief: continued distribution of earmarked funds for hurricane relief to families of special needs children for restoration of accessible living quarters and basic personal property. Prosthetics and orthotics clinic: in october/november, mobilize mankind served 30 individuals for both prosthetics and orthotics in collaboration with the balandra rotary club. This seven-year project has now custom made and fitted over 400 prosthetics and recycled innumerable orthotics all free to their recipients. Assuming a safe--to-say minimum value of 5,000 per prosthetic that is over $2,000,000 dollars for the prosthetics alone, not to mention the orthotics. Medical evaluations: medically fragile children were evaluated by dr. Robert haining from oakland childrens hospital, california, who comes routinely returns to assist with the p&o clinic and offers consultation services as needed. Major hospital referrals: five children have been referred to shriners hospitals in tijuana, los angeles, and sacramento. They have received surgery, rehabilitation services, burn services, medical attention & evaluations. Therapy training: mexican physical therapists are beginning to take more ownership of wheelchair adjustments and giving wheelchairs and braces to children new to the system. They are becoming comfortable with the complicated wheelchair seating process for severe children and have benefited from the mobilize mankind training they have received. In addition, they are participating in our wheelchair clinics with the children they serve in la paz and los cabos. In la paz, the physical therapists are recycling wheelchairs and braces on a regular basis as we have trained them. Program equipment/supplies: forty-five (45) wheelchairs were donated by tri-county mobility from goleta, ca. Orthotic braces were donated from cascade dafo. Staff continuing education: april, 2016 - therapy in educational settings conference in eugene, oregon.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wow! Looks like it's been three years since my last review and I'm still here! :) Previously I'd mentioned the founders' endless commitment and compassion, and it's still going strong. I'm so proud to be part of an organization that is so clear and dedicated to its mission, the communities in which they operate, and the volunteers. One of many experiences I'll never forget is when they'd arranged to deliver and fit twin, 16-year old boys with donated power-chairs. These practically full-grown 'young men' had been being carried by their mother, who was a small woman! The whole town came out for the occasion and they'd brought snacks and even a pinata. Gayle and volunteers were helping to fit the chairs properly, and once they were finished and the family was trained in how to care for and keep the chairs charged, those boys took off. Watching their faces as they experienced physical freedom for the first time was absolutely unforgettable.

Review from Guidestar

1 Cindy185

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Mobilize Mankind for the past 10 years. I am a special education teacher working with students with severe to moderate physical disabilities. My work with this organization has been focused on assisting the staff, families and administration of schools with the physical and medical needs of their students to better facilitate learning in their school setting. MM has consistently worked closely with families and volunteers and developed meaningful ongoing relationships. They have worked very hard to provide much needed supplies and assistance to help with the children's medical and physical needs. I am proud to be a part of such a dedicated and heartfelt group of professional people who truly want to help the disabled children and families of Baja Sur. I have worked with volunteers of all ages there and all have had unforgettable experiences and are truly changed by the work they do. Mobilize Mankind has my complete devotion and utmost respect as they have consistently set an example of putting the needs of the children first, and keeping their focus on lasting health and comfort for the children they serve. Sincerely, Cindy Evans

Review from Guidestar

1 Kelley6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Mobilize Mankind for more than 10 years. Besides the local work in Eugene, Oregon, I have traveled down to Baja seven times. I brought my daughter down with me several times as a child and as an adult, and she has been inspired by the work that she did down there. It was one of the experiences that influenced her decision to became a speech language pathologist. She now works in a public school district.
I have been involved in volunteer work throughout my life, but I have never had as much of an impact on people's lives as I have with this organization. The resources in Baja are so minimal and the need is great. Providing a wheelchair to a child with a disability, who would otherwise not have one, is critical to the health of the child and also to the families who do their best to rig up strollers and wagons to transport their children. The Mexican families are extremely grateful, welcoming and generous to us all. I have never felt such warmth and gratitude. My work with this organization has given me back as much as I have put into it. I have helped recruit dozens of volunteers and they all give me the same feedback. We have improved the lives of hundreds of children and we hope to continue this work indefinitely.

Review from Guidestar

2 Wendy50

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Mobilize Mankind for more than a decade and I am as enthusiastic today as I was in the beginning! Mobilize Mankind's "target population" is children with disabilities in Baja Sur, Mexico. The organization collects donated equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers, from various agencies, businesses and individuals in the US and transports it to warehouses in southern Baja. Greg and Gayle Edwards, the directors of Mobilize Mankind, travel to various communities in the region, meeting children and their families. They then adjust and "remake" equipment to fit the specific needs of each child, fitting the wheelchair or other equipment using their expertise and experience. During spring break each year a group of volunteers from the US arrive, to assist with the equipment clinics. Additionally, we volunteer at various schools for children with disabilities, providing support, education and sharing ideas from our experiences in US schools. I am a physical therapist. Volunteers also include special education teachers, assistive technology specialists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, etc. The organization is all about collaboration, with families, the local schools, government organizations and businesses.

When Hurrican Odile hit the Region last September, Mobilize Mankind mobilized! Despite the fact that their warehouse was damaged, they focused all their efforts on assisting families in need. This included rebuilding a home for a family who have a child with a disability. The organization is all HEART!

Volunteering for Mobilize Mankind has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I give it 5 stars!

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Mobilize Mankind (MM) is an organization dedicated to empowering children with disabilities in Baja Mexico, along with their families, teachers and communities. The directors, Greg and Gayle Edwards, moved to Baja in order to dedicate their lives to the the mission and work of MM. I am a Board member and have made several trips to Baja, Mexico to volunteer, for one week at a time. These experiences have been very fulfilling for me, personally and professionally (I am a pediatric physical therapist). Additionally, I've had the opportunity to see, first hand, the direct, real and permanent change this organization has made in the lives of children with disabilities.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For anyone interested in contributing time or financial support to an organization that is grassroots and powered by passion, you've found it. Primarily staffed by volunteers, Mobilize has provided countless children with mobility, access to education, and many other opportunities to engage in their communities. Greg and Gayle have a bottomless reserve of compassion and energy and have an incredible ability to build relationships in the community to help children gain access to the world. Baja is a beautiful place with beautiful people who are grateful for the services that Mobilize has been able to provide. As a pediatric occupational therapist, I was looking for an opportunity to donate my services in exchange for some interesting life experiences--and, wow did I get my investment's worth! My time as a volunteer with Mobilize has enriched my life far beyond anything I could ever have hoped to impart. THANK YOU MOBILIZE!!