Josh Burt was born with Spina Bifida and has been in a wheel chair his entire life due to paralysis in his legs. He is the youngest of four children, 19 yrs. old and a High School Graduate. Because he has such an interest in the well being of others, he is considering a career in counseling. Josh is heavily dependent on his parents for transportation as well as rides from friends. He is in need of a modified vehicle specially equipped to put him in the driver's seat, enabling him to lead a more independent lifestyle and pursue his dreams.
In-spite of Josh's physical challenges, he is well known by his peers for his incredibly optimistic attitude, great sense of humor, and always ready to help or encourage the less fortunate. He is recognized to be of outstanding character by all who know him, and has remarkable resolve.
Josh plays Wheelchair basketball for the Mad Dogs (local team) and is very athletic. This year the team went to Spokane, Wa. to play in the HoopFest competition. He is energetic, disciplined, and in his free time loves to work out at the gym. Recently, he was invited by the police dept. to participate in “The Murph Challenge”. “The Murph” is a tough national workout regimen created in honor of fallen Navy Seal, LT. Michael Murphy. It was slightly modified for him so he could participate. Josh’s “can do” spirit does not let his disability hold him back. As much as his schedule (and budget) permits, he loves to swim, hunt, fish, bowl and go to the movies with friends.
He is always looking for opportunities to encourage others. At a recent basketball tournament he was playing in, he invited a co-worker and her son (who was also in a wheelchair) to attend. When they showed up he greeted her son and gave him a basketball. Then he told the little guy to practice hard so when he gets older he can join the team. The boy was elated! Another way he encourages people is by giving to those in need or less fortunate. He has been criticized for giving to the homeless, but his response was, “what they do with the money is between them and their conscience, I want to give them a chance to better their circumstances”.
If you haven’t got the idea by now that Josh is very ambitious and has a strong work ethic, I’m telling you now; He’s not one to let the grass grow between his toes! Although he’s athletic he also has a strong sense of responsibility and independence. He holds down a part-time job at a grocery store as a bagger. As soon as his transportation needs have been secured he plans to work full-time.
Our hope is to fully fund a specially equipped vehicle (otherwise known as a "Mobility Solution Vehicle"). This will put him in the drivers seat and give him the independence that he needs to move forward with his life. Because the modifications to the vehicle are permanent, the plan is to grant him the money to purchase a new 1/2 ton Chevy Pickup. A middle of the road vehicle with some of the options that are pertinent to him (because of our cold and snowy winters) such as remote start, and heated mirrors, etc, will land at about $42,000.00. The permanent wheelchair modifications will cost an add'l $15,000.00 depending on his needs. His first year of full coverage insurance will be an additional $3300.00.
I am the father of one of Josh’s friends. I am 55 yrs old and have seen folks squander an opportunity given to them, not fully appreciating what it is. But I’ve also seen a few take full advantage of an opportunity using it to it’s greatest advantage, and Josh is one of these people. He is a remarkable young man, I would not be doing this for him if I was not so impressed. Josh has the HEART of a Navy Seal and if it weren’t for the disability he could have become one! He truly is an inspiration to all who meet him! If I were a betting man, I would go “all in” that Josh will use this opportunity to it’s fullest advantage, and accept this gift with extreme gratitude.
This is a gift that he cannot otherwise afford. THANK YOU for giving Josh the freedom to get himself to work, pursue his dreams and have a life if his own.
Please share this link with your friends and family on Facebook, and Instagram. We were originally hoping to keep this crowdfunding event a surprise but the "cat got out of the bag" yet he doesn't know all of the details. On September 15th, 2018 at 6.30pm we will have a celebration party to present Josh with this gift. Since his good friend who faithfully gives him rides has enlisted in the Marine Corp and will be leaving soon afterwards. All are welcome to attend this community wide event. We will gather together under the guise of a " 60th " birthday celebration for Gene Langstaff. It will be held at the Assembly of God Church, 150 Lamb Lane, Whitefish, MT.
Hello Friends, Gene here. As you know, July 12th has come & gone and the Josh Burt Mobility Fund Campaign is officially over. I know that Josh and his parents are so grateful to all of you. The final amount raised is $43,660 (19809.77 from GFM after fees & 23850.64 from local fund raisers). While we fell short by $16,639.59, we still came within 72.41% of our goal.
This is not an insignificant amount of money! The goal was to enable him to purchase a new 1/2 ton pickup. Our intentions here were not just to get a nice kid a cool new toy, but trucks are built heavier & if taken care of, will out last a car and would have given him more versatility in his active lifestyle. At this point however, since trucks are more money than cars, the new truck purchase will most likely be out of the equation.
Josh and his Dad are currently re-evaluating what they can do with this wonderful gift (strictly in terms of a vehicle purchase). The criteria for making a purchase remains the same; to meet his long term transportation needs by purchasing a new vehicle (8k miles or less & full warranties) giving him longevity of vehicle life and reliability of service, with mobility solutions installed. A used vehicle will not meet this criteria. It may be inevitable that he acquires a small amount of debt but all-in-all this would not have been possible without your help. I can't say it enough, thank you to all of you for your benevolence!
This Go-Fund-Me page will remain open for a month after a purchase has been finalized and I will continue give updates as progress is made.