Give Global Good.
Give Global Good. This is the vision of Project Embrace, a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused exclusively on providing much needed medical equipment to those in need, and increasing access to healthcare for all.
Founded in 2016, Mohan Sudabattula was a student at the University of Utah and recognized an opportunity to provide disadvantaged medical facilities and patients access to life-changing equipment that they would otherwise go without. While volunteering in the prosthetics department of a nearby hospital, Sudabattula was inspired to “rescue” used medical equipment from the trash in hopes of giving them new life and a new purpose in the hands of those who could most benefit from them.
Reminded of a trip to India with his parents in 2006, Sudabattula recalled visiting an orphanage for disabled children. While there, he noticed that these children were in desperate need of working medical equipment, like wheelchairs, but were making due with variations made from lawn furniture and bicycle wheels. It was this recollection that kickstarted Sudabattula’s desire to launch his non-profit. Ten years later, he was able to revisit that same orphanage and donate dozens of wheelchairs and crutches to the patients there through the efforts of Project Embrace.
Why used medical equipment from the trash, you’re wondering? Is it safe?
In a word, absolutely.
Most of the items collected by Project Embrace have seen very little use by their original owners. Sudabattula and volunteers seek out secondhand crutches, wheelchairs, orthotic braces, slings, and other rehabilitative gear from thrift stores and through personal donations directly to the non-profit from the community. Once cleaned and refurbished, Project Embrace then sends the equipment to medical facilities all over the world, impacting hundreds of lives in ways many take for granted.
“For somebody whose spouse used a wheelchair or walker before they passed away, it’s hard to think of that equipment going into the trash,” one of the nonprofit volunteers told The Washington Post. “When they give it to us, they feel like they’ve given it a second life. And then to see the recipient’s face light up — that’s extremely rewarding.”
Since 2016, when Project Embrace was established, more than 900 refurbished medical devices have been donated to low-income hospitals in the USA and India. In May 2019, the Project brought wheelchairs and walkers to a rural Navajo Nation hospital at the Utah-Arizona border for the second time, bringing hope and easing burdens for dozens of patients.
“Often times when it comes to healthcare innovation and design, people tend to opt out of professional conversations because they don’t feel qualified enough to contribute to the discussion. This is ironic because access to healthcare (and healthcare innovation) affects everyone — naturally, everyone should then be involved,” said Sudabattula in a blog post following an article published by Silicon Slopes Magazine. “We give our community an opportunity to get involved and by tracking where individual donations end up going, we can show our community exactly where their impact is being made…As an organization, we are aiming to have a continued global impact while also focusing on how to help those in our own backyard, increasing access to quality medical for all who need it.”
For more information on just how you can help impact lives all over the world through the efforts Sudabattula and his team are putting forth with Project Embrace, please click here. 100% of any funds donated are used toward their operations. All team members are volunteers, and no one takes a salary from the organization.
Be the Good. Let’s change the world together!
*All photos in this article are credited to Project Embrace