Billions of dollars of unused medical supplies end up in US landfills each year but volunteers on the Western Slope are helping to send those supplies to countries that need it the most.
In a warehouse in Grand Junction volunteers for Project Cure collect medical supplies from across the Western Slope, equipment that might otherwise have ended up in the trash.
"Having a set of crutches and getting it all the way over to somebody who's so poor they can't afford a pair of crutches that's a pretty incredible thing," says Jay Mashburn, volunteer and organizer for Project Cure on the Western Slope.
Jay says, "The pieces that really make this whole thing work really well is it goes to specific places that have a specific need."
After seeing the need for medical supplies firsthand Jay and his wife Rebecca opened the only Project Cure collection site on the Western Slope in 2008. "When we lived in Nepal there were people who couldn't walk so somebody else carried them around," says Jay.
Project Cure ships a semi–truck load of equipment to its Denver center every three months where the supplies inside get sent around the world.
"We usually come out every other week drop off stuff for them," says Matt Steel with G & G Medical. Steel says before they learned about the donation site many of their client’s returns or extras were simply thrown away. "We get it back and a lot of times it ends up going to the dump which is unfortunate," says Steel.
Project Cure takes anything from medical tubing to high tech machinery. "Some of the high dollar stuff like ventilation machines and ultra sound machines," says Jay. After it's collected volunteers sort and organize the supplies before they are shipped out.
And for the Mashburns it's a way of helping people who need it the most while protecting the environment at the same time. "These are people who live on a dollar a day in a lot of countries who can't afford these medical supplies, really simple things," says Jay.
Anyone who wishes to donate can contact Cheryl at 683-6576.
Project Cure will have an open house Nov. 5t from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at their warehouse located in the GJ Tech Center for anyone to come and visit.