By Sandra Brands*
Imagine having to crawl across the floor, down the road or through a store.
Now, imagine being able to get around with dignity.
That’s what’s happened to Roshan Johan, a 30-year-old polio patient who has spent most of her life crawling on the floor like, in her words, a small child. Today, she can move without pain thanks to the PET Cart, a three-wheel vehicle, she received through the Rural Health and Community Development Project (RHCDP) of the Clara Swain Hospital in Faridpur, India.
“The cart, which has been given by you, has been a great help for me,” she wrote upon receipt of her cart, saying her knees “used to blister and I was not able to go out very often. But now, I have started going out of my house. I go to the market myself and also get medicines myself. And I have started see the world outside more …”
That’s just one of the things donations through The Advance on #GivingTuesday can make possible. Last year, United Methodists donated more than $14,000 to Advance #01075A, the Rural Health and Community Development Project (RHCDP) of Clara Swain Hospital.
According to Lillian Wallace, a retired Global Ministries missionary, who now serves as a volunteer with the project, the cart arrived from the United States in late August this year. “We were so excited, we opened it immediately and put it together,” she said. Later that day, Jahan arrived, sitting on the floor of a rickshaw.
“We moved the PET Cart close to her and she crawled in and sat down, ready to move,” Wallace said. “Within minutes, she was driving up and down our campus, learning to drive. Words cannot express Roshan’s joy or ours, just seeing her with a new life ahead.”
Wallace said that she has been shocked at how many disabled people live in villages nearby. “We will definitely need money from friends through UMC #GivingTuesday on Dec. 2 to really reach out to them, especially those who cannot walk.”
The hope is to provide the carts to those in need free of charge, Wallace said. “PET International in the States is ready to supply us with 185 PET Carts free of cost, but we have to pay the freight from Missouri to India, and then from Mumbai to Faridpur.”
This year, Global Ministries will again provide matching grants, up to $1 million**, for donations to any project through The Advance as part of UMC #GivingTuesday, “When Methodists Are United.” One hundred percent of gifts given go to projects designated by the donor through The Advance, The United Methodist Church’s giving channel.
For resources to promote and share UMC #GivingTuesday click here.
*Sandra Brands is a writer and regular contributor to umcmission.org.
**Global Ministries will allocate the matching funds dollar for dollar up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on December 2, 2014, between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EST. A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.