Local engineers build motorized cars for children with disabilities

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) What happens when you give engineers from around the world a pile of toys to play with? For some kids with some serious disabilities the answer means freedom.

“We do have trouble because he is so small due to his condition, finding things that work for him in a typical child environment” said Samantha Baker a mother of a 2 year old Will who is disabled and has limited movement.

Gavin, Ryan, Avery and Will are all kids with mobility issues. They've been invited to Center City to watch their new adaptive cars be built by some local volunteers with Axalta.  The industrial coatings company based in Center City asked a group of it's engineers and scientists to put their talents to use by helping transforming average toys into one of a kind wheels for one of a kind kids.

“We are a community of scientists and engineers doing coatings. So using our talents to and skill sets to make a difference in somebody’s life is a fun part of the job” says Axalta CEO Charley Shaver.

4 teams of employees helped transform the battery powered cars into custom designed and decorated vehicles with adaptive controls to suit their disability.

“It’s going to make something that was otherwise impossible, possible” said Jeremy Baker a father of one of the recipients.

Once the cars were built, it was time for a test drive. Each child climbed behind the wheel and took their new cars for a spin. The smiles on the faces of kids and parents said it all.

“It’s awesome. It really is because I know it’s made just for him and you know we don’t have to worry about adapting things ourselves” said Revell Martin from Wallingford whose son Will was overjoyed at the new car.

“Really it’s everything. I mean we want our kids to be typical kids” she said.

The company teamed up with the mobility awareness organization GoBabyGo to provide the

“It’s amazing…that this is even happening” said mother Casy Wineland. 

Each child got to take home their new wheels. But organizers say they took home something more important. A sense of freedom.

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