LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – An 8th grader from the Seattle area recently gave the gift of mobility to a disabled toddler by building him a customized toy car as part of a project funded by a Los Angeles County-based nonprofit.
Getting around isn’t easy for 3-year-old Ollie Horton of Denver, who has a physical disability that requires the use of a walker.READ MORE: Huntington Beach Police Declare Unlawful Assembly At 'White Lives Matter' Rally
“He was late to crawl. He’s almost four, and he’s still not walking. So, yeah, movement and mobility has always been a challenge for him,” said Ollie’s father, Johnny Horton.
Eli Murphy, a student at Enumclaw Middle School in Washington state, heard about Ollie’s struggles and decided to help him out.
“Just because it felt like the right thing to do, but I was also looking for something to do while COVID was going and just gave me some sanity kind of throughout this tough time,” he told CBS Denver‘s Michael Abeyta.
— CBSDenver (@CBSDenver) December 27, 2020
Murphy adapted the rideable electric toy car for Ollie as a school project. He altered the car’s steering system and pedals and added padding and a lap belt, all while keeping up with his school work online.READ MORE: Hospitalizations For COVID-19 Fall Below 500 In LA County
“It was fairly easy I just had to maneuver around some things in my everyday schedule but once I got that down it was pretty easy from there,” he said.
The car and materials to adapt it cost less than $400, a lot less than a motorized wheelchair that can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
The project was funded by Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, a non profit based in Calabasas, California, as a pilot to demonstrate how skilled trades classes can be taught online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So proud to support this trades learning opportunity that helps students give back! 8th grader Eli Murphy (Enumclaw, WA) customized an electric car to help mobility-challenged 3-year-old Ollie Horton (Denver) as part of his distance-learning trades education. Check out the video: pic.twitter.com/vic7LcVxxG
— Harbor Freight Tools for Schools (@HFTforSchools) January 4, 2021
The completed vehicle was boxed up and shipped to the boy’s home in Denver, just in time for Christmas.
“Every time he learns something new on the jeep you can just see him light up and that empowerment is just really really fun for us to see,” said Johnny.MORE NEWS: Man Fatally Shot In Officer-Involved Shooting In San Fernando
“I think it’s really cool with what he’s been able to do in just the past two days of having it,” Murphy said.