This is Harold Andreson.
He is the owner of Mechanical Excellence, an automotive service shop in Duncanville, Tx. Using profits from his shop, he also started the non-profit organization, Innovation Institute, in 2003 to serve people with disabilities.
We were introduced to each other through a friend. Before we even met in person, we had numerous phone conversations. Every time we talked, I could sense the passion for what he does. I am so compelled to tell his story and the love he has for people. I am so honored to have seen and experienced firsthand the love that he pours out everyday.
Innovation Institute started from an idea thought up by a part-time employee. They began by building various types of adaptive aids for mobility devices, such as giving an electric scooter better brakes, safer throttle, and off-road knobby tires. They continued to develop the original idea and took it a step further. One of their first “innovations” was the conversion of a riding lawn mower into a heavy duty go-kart, with roll cage, hand controls, and safety harness.
A disabled child would be able to safely ride this recreational vehicle with their wheelchair. For some of those who were able to take the go-kart for a ride, it was their first time feeling the wind in their hair or sense movement with their skin.
The project has evolved since and now they are adapting the idea to a golf cart. They have ensured easy on-and-off wheelchair access by installing custom hydraulics, the back seat provides for family members or friends to ride with them, and more is in the works.
I was so amazed to see that everything they do is custom work. They took an old golf cart and installed a new frame on it so that now there is enough room for two wheelchairs to ride on it.
All the work is done by four part-time workers and two volunteers. They take pride in all the work they put into the vehicles and they are motivated by smiles that they will bring to a child’s face.
Look out for Part 2 of Innovation Institute next week. It’ll be filled with images of joy and love for the community.
For more information, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or (972) 709-5391. Also, they can be found on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/Innovation.Institute.Duncanville).
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, make out your check to:
1219 Crestdell Drive
Duncanville, TX 75137