October Jefferson Award Winner from LUMC

Charlie working outside of his garage with PET parts scattered around.

La Crescent UMC is pleased to announce that the most recent Jefferson award winner is our very own Charlie Hinders. Charlie’s Jefferson award is for his work building mobility carts in his backyard. WXOW has Charlie’s story on again at 10pm.

Charlie’s Garage has a Higher Purpose

A few years ago, Charlie Hinders had just built a garage as his retirement man cave, when he was inspired by a message he heard at La Crescent United Methodist church. The message was from a PET international representative. They were looking for help building cart parts to help those with leg disabilities have transportation.

Suddenly the garage  had a purpose much bigger than a man cave; the garage became the place to build the wooden boxes. The boxes would be taken up to the Twin Cities to be added along with the other parts they would have there.

After a while, Charlie and a few volunteers were soon making more wooden boxes than the Cities could handle. So they expanded their crew by a few. They learned to make other parts for the carts. – the handles and the bases. All of these parts are taken up to the Minneapolis facility for final assembly.

Due to all of the hard work of Charlie and a significant number of volunteers, La Crescent is currently the number one donor of mobility carts and parts to the Minneapolis facility. Many of the Charlie’s volunteers are from La Crescent. This is no longer just the La Crescent UMC project; there are volunteers from various churches in the community. Currently there is even welder from Lake City!

Mobility Worldwide

Mobility Worldwide is the new name for the PET International we read about earlier this summer. Mobility Worldwide is a global effort to help those who are leg disabled. Over 70 million people are leg disabled world wide. Mobility Worldwide is working to give them a cart with which to move themselves around.

Truck Packed with PET parts

Truck Packed with PET parts and headed for the Twin Cities this week.

The pieces that Charlie and his volunteer crew are building will be headed first to Minneapolis to be assembled before they head out on a barge overseas.  This week they are taking 20 of the colorfully painted boxes and 50 solid metal supports. Because they are changing the design of the handles, they are holding off making those for now. Perhaps next week!

Jefferson Award

Every month WXOW News 19 awards someone in the La Crosse area with the local Jefferson award. They work to honor people who have given over and above in volunteering their time to their community. The nomination process as described on the 6pm news is a several step process: Someone nominated Charlie for this award. Then a group reviews the nominations and validates the nomination information before awarding the recipient. Each month WXOW News 19 selects one winner.


I'm writing and posting here as a volunteer of the church. My husband and children and I have been Methodists for over 100 years. We live, work, volunteer and raise our children in the La Crescent community. The people at La Crescent UMC do amazing things with their gifts and their talents. I'm very honored to be able to share them with the world. Thank you for reading along. Wonder what we'll get to read next!

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