By Grace Kuikman
In late March, Beverly/Morgan Park resident Paul Duggan will be traveling to Cambodia with very precious cargo, a prosthetic hand custom-made by students at Brother Rice High School for a young girl attending a Love Without Boundaries school.
How Duggan was able to connect seniors at his old high school with a student halfway around the world is a story of how love leads to possibilities.
Love of School
Duggan grew up in Beverly/Morgan Park, and graduated from Brother Rice, setting him on a path to his position as president of Jackson Boulevard Capital Management. Duggan is an active Rice alum who supports the school in many ways.
Love of Family
A little over 18 years ago, Duggan and his wife Debbie adopted twin girls from China, the perfect completion of their family. The Duggans joined a group of adopting parents on a chat board, and were introduced to another adopting parent, Amy Eldridge. Eldridge was committed to improving conditions for orphans in China, and when the Duggans learned she wanted to start a foundation, they opened their hearts, and stepped up with support.
Love Without Boundaries
Love Without Boundaries (LWB) was founded in 2003 with a mission to help improve conditions for orphans in China and today also brings humanitarian assistance to children in Cambodia, India and Uganda. Eldridge is the CEO and Duggan is Emeritus Chair.
Last year, the not-for-profit organization provided more than 1300 medical procedures and 92,000 hot lunches, as well as education for more than 700 children. LWB also offers healing homes for the children undergoing medical procedures, foster care and other services that put the needs of children first.
Paul Duggan remains very involved in the organization’s mission to offer “hope and healing to orphaned and vulnerable children.” He has witnessed how the work being done by LWB changes the lives of so many children, and had adopted the motto: “One Child at a Time.”
Brother Rice High School has always offered top notch education as well as a commitment to charitable acts. Duggan reached out to the school to support LWB. Through their homerooms, students donate a small amount each month toward the care of a child being served by LWB.
When Duggan was introduced to the capabilities of the recently added engineering curriculum at Brother RIce, he instantly recognized a way to fill a very specific need: creating a prosthetic hand for a girl born without hands or feet who attends a LWB school in Cambodia.
Brother Rice senior engineering student Liam Coughlin is leading the project, and assisting him is Matteo Valencia, a member of the Advocacy Club. Both students are part of Rice’s award-winning robotics team.
The young men are using a manual developed by last year’s seniors, the first class to use 3D printers to create prosthetic hands. Last year, students made several “generic” hands which were donated to a not-for-profit organization in South Carolina. The hands have articulated joints, and are wired, so movements in the wrist enable the fingers and thumb to bend, making the prosthetics are functional.