Story about Innovation Institute - Part 1

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.  

Harold talking to his team about what needs to be done for the event in 2 weeks.

No part is a bad part to them.  They salvage parts from other things to save costs but gets the job done well.

This is Wandus.  He is sawing off parts to make room for batteries. 

Robert and Tony modifying a batter pack to use on the golf carts.

This is Tony.  He's passion for bringing smiles to kids face is heart warming.

This is Tommie.  You'll never be able to guess his age correctly.  I missed it by more than 10 years.

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 koolschool@sbcglobal.net 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:

Innovation Institute

1219 Crestdell Drive

Duncanville, TX 75137