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12 Who Care: Jacksonville Navy veteran leads effort to give mobility to disabled people across the world

Navy veteran Dave Quirk lives by the motto "do as much as you can, for as many as you can, for as long as you can," and that's why he's one of our 12 Who Care.

PENNEY FARMS, Fla. — We continue to celebrate those who go above and beyond to help the community. Today's 12 Who Care recipient has spent his entire adult life serving his country, his community and thousands of people around the world who he has never met. 

Dave Quirk is a man whose life revolves around service to others, and for that reason, he's one of our 12 Who Care.

For as long as he can remember, Dave Quirk has lived by a simple motto.

"Do as much as you can, for as many as you can, for as long as you can."

But his life of service began decades ago. Quirk entered the Naval Academy in 1962, serving on submarines USS BUGARA, USS REDFISH and USS SALMON AGSS for 6 years after graduating from Annapolis and retired from the Navy as a Captain in 1993.

After serving our country for 31 years he staying involved in the military as a civil servant for another 15 years and made data and processing systems more efficient. But that's when his life really took off.

Quirk is the Procurement Coordinator for the PET Mobility Project at Penney Farms, although he's quick to joke that he doesn't build the carts.

"I don't know how to use my hands very well," joked Quirk.

But he, and  70 other volunteers, are involved in a group effort to build carts that give the gift of mobility to disabled people across the world.

"We've now built 14,000 plus right here at Penney Farms since 2001," said Quirk, "we basically do 800 a year now."

Carts made in Penney Farms have been sent to 45 different countries around the world. Oftentimes the recipients of the carts will send back pictures with smiles now that they can move on their own throughout their villages.

"It's the paycheck, it's really what keeps us all going," said Quirk.

Outside of the PET Carts Quirk also leads a team that does the taxes of more than 200 residents at Penney Farms, helps coordinate medical directives for other residents, helps to organize Honor Flights, volunteers as a hearing officer at the Green Cove Springs State Attorney's Office and even joins his wife to serve breakfast in the assisted living wing of Penny Retirement Community.

"It's been a real pleasure to be here at PRC," said Quirk, "I sum it up in one sentence, we're a family of 500 brothers and sisters and we take care of each other because everything we've mentioned today, I'm not doing it alone, it's a team, everyone together accomplishes more."

Dave Quirk, a living embodiment of his motto, doing as much as he can, for as many as he can, for as long as he can and that's why he's one of our 12 Who Care.

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