KAT requires our black belt candidates to identify, plan, fund, carry out, and report on a leadership service project. The following is a project Master Katie Pottle did for her Fall 2016 Black Belt Test.
Unfortunately, many children today are in need of prosthetic hands. Some are in regions where they simply don’t have access to them, and others, even in wealthier countries can’t afford the latest models.
Prosthetic limbs have improved tremendously, but the best models still cost tens of thousands of dollars. Even if families could afford ONE, they are unlikely to be able to afford a new one every 1-2 years as their children grow.
Several open-source models of hands are available online. An organization called E-Nable helps people make hands and then coordinates distribution to those in need. Now anybody with a 3D printer can print, assemble and donate a hand to a child in need for less than $30 of plastic, parts and shipping!
When the time came for my fifth degree blackbelt test, my husband and I both thought that this project would fit perfectly into the Korean Academy of Taekwondo’s blackbelt service project mindset – where we, the blackbelt candidates become leaders in the community and bring people together for the greater good of our society.
With that in mind, not only did I print and assemble a couple of 3D hands myself (with more on the way), I have also been working to educate and involve my community to contribute to the process. I have talked to elementary schools, middle schools and local libraries with 3D printers to show them these cool hands and see if we can get some others working towards this worthy goal.
Check out enablingthefuture.org to learn more about how you or someone you might know can get in on this project!
-Katie Pottle (5th Degree Blackbelt Candidate with KAT)