E-nabling your Neighbors


I was thinking the other day about when I used to watch “Little House on the Prairie” as a child and how when someone was sick and needed help or got small pox or was having a baby  or when one of the local children fell into a mining shaft – neighbors would just drop whatever they were doing – sometimes risking their lives and go help their neighbors.

Now days – no one even opens the doors for the Elderly (and 90% of the time the little frail old man will stand there and open the door for the young wipper snappers that barrel through without even a thank you.) – let alone offers to help just for the sake of helping.

It appears that this E-nable group and this “Maker Movement” is not only inspiring people who have 3d printers to start using them for something more than action figures and useless “Fun” things – but those that are reading the story as it grows – are getting inspired to reach out into their own neighborhoods again…just for the sake of giving.

A young mother of 4 in a small town in the Pacific Northwest, decided that she wanted to round up as many coats, blankets, socks, gloves, hats etc that she could so that she could pass them out to the homeless people living in camps around their small town when she realized the temperatures were going to be dropping down to life threatening lows.  She decided she just wanted to help, had the day off and so she posted on Facebook that she would be parking her van at an empty lot at a certain time and anyone that wanted to donate could bring their stuff to her….

She spent just one hour of sitting in the lot and collecting items and she then went to deliver them. She writes: “In thirty minutes we gave out 52 coats, 15 sleeping bags, 47 hats, 22 pairs of gloves, 36 pairs of socks, 26 sweaters, 16 thermals, 7 thick blankets, and a large grocery sack worth of snacks and handwarmers. I repeat, IN THIRTY MINUTES. ”

She ended up having so many donations that it took her 4 full van loads and 3 days to deliver it all.


She didn’t do it for the newspaper stories (they didn’t run one because no one asked them to – it wasn’t for the fame) – she did it because thats WHAT WE NEEDED TO DO – we just needed someone to inspire us to gather our old stuff that was sitting in the closets and give it to people who needed it.

Thats what it feels like we are doing here.

Inspiring people to find ways to better their world, their neighbors lives and the lives of those who will never know their name or the role they played in the resulting hand device they are now using.

Our volunteers are giving away things they have, just hanging out at home (our time, our talents, our plastic) – and sharing it with the neighbors. Even if the neighbors are thousands of miles away and we will never meet them.

Do you want to help with this Maker Movement but you don’t have a 3d printer and have no idea how to use 3d rendering software?
Do you want to “Give a hand to someone” too?

It doesn’t take cutting edge technology to make a difference in the lives of others.

You may not have a 3d printer – but you have a desire to do something to help someone…

• Carry an extra granola bar or apple in your purse and give it to the homeless man you pass every day on your walk with your dog.
• Offer to read a story to a local class of elementary school students – wear a crazy costume and go in character.
• Give your umbrella to the lady next to you at the bus stop who is trying to keep her 3 month old baby dry under her coat.
• Help the little old lady push her heavy shopping cart to her car and help her unload her groceries before returning the cart to the store.
• Bake some brownies and take them to the local fire department.
• Grab a shovel and help clear the neighborhood street when it snows so that the young couple across that way that can’t afford to miss work – can get there safely.
• Donate your gently used clothing to homeless or Domestic Violence shelters in your area.
• When you see a “buy one get one free” sale at the grocery store – donate the “Free” item to the food bank.
• Gift your child’s used books to a local school that lacks the funding to fill their library with new books.
• Pull over and help the young man who is trying to change a flat tire on the side of the road while the rain is blowing sideways.
• Paint encouraging words onto rocks and leave them around town for people to find.

The list could go on for miles.

“Giving someone a hand” is so much more than a bunch of folks gathering online to create free 3d printed mechanical hands for those that were born without….it’s about seeing a need and filling it and doing it “BECAUSE WE CAN and because we have the ability to.”

Don’t let the lack of a 3d printer or design know-how, keep you from being a part of “E-nabling the Future.”

We all have the power to E-nable one another.

Every single one of us.

So what is stopping you?

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the World. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead