Logan Thornton, 17, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, a senior at Purvis High School, collects used children’s rehabilitation equipment from families that no longer need it, cleans and makes necessary repairs, and then delivers it to children with disabilities who couldn’t otherwise afford it. Logan embarked on his equipment exchange program after his mother, a pediatric physical therapist, introduced him to a little boy being treated for a spinal cord injury. “His family was not able to buy him the equipment he needed to go to school and be independent,” said Logan. “My heart hurt for him. He told me he just wanted to be a ‘regular boy.’” Logan found him a power wheelchair. “Just seeing the delight on his face was enough to make me continue,” he said.
Since then, Logan has located equipment for more than 40 children and has donated more than 30 other pieces of equipment to a summer camp for children with disabilities, where he has volunteered for several years. He relies on his mother to identify families in need of rehabilitation equipment, as well as those with children who have outgrown their equipment or simply no longer need it. He coordinates a process to match donors and recipients, then picks up the donated equipment and stores it in a friend’s basement. He makes any needed repairs and asks a local company to modify it to ensure a proper fit for the new owner. “I have learned so much about children with disabilities and how their disability should not keep them from participating in everything everywhere,” said Logan.