TEMPE, Ariz. - Hospital beds, gowns, syringes and other essential medical items are finally headed to Ukraine after being stuck inside a warehouse in Tempe.
Project C.U.R.E. is the world's largest distributor of donated medical equipment and supplies to countries all over the world. The organization has been shipping supplies to Ukraine since the 1990s, but the operation hit a snag due to the war.
"It is sitting on the dock," said Project C.U.R.E. CEO Douglas Jackson on Feb. 25. "It is ready to get shipped in the container, and they say the port of Odessa is saying they have canceled the shipment, and you can't get anything in there because it is an emergency situation."
Millions of people will be displaced as a result of this war, and that's when these supplies - worth up to $500,000 - are needed the most.
"These emergency situations are tough. They need the stuff. We have the stuff," said Jackson. "In the middle of these crises, moms are still going to have a baby. That is not up to her, and you can't postpone it for two weeks because Putin decided to invade."
The organization, however, is no stranger to pivoting during times of crisis, and they are using that expertise to figure out a new way to get supplies into the country.
"As humanitarians, we have to step up and take care of these people," said Jackson.
The organization is reportedly looking into different avenues to get their supplies to Ukraine, including going through other countries, like Germany. They also say they will be sending a lot more supplies when they can get through.
By March 7, the logistics team found a way to get the supplies to Ukraine.
"This container is getting to Ukraine through Poland …," said Heather Maher, Operations director Project C.U.R.E. "We had some extra room, so I was able to put trauma supplies, extra gauze, gloves, bags."
Over the weekend, a group of medical students volunteered to pack up the container, so it was ready to head off to the people in Ukraine thousands of miles away.
"Anything we can do to help those who are marginalized medically is a good feeling and this is a particularly good feeling because this is a country in so much need in this exact moment," Maher said.
Due to this ongoing conflict, the container could take months to get there. Project Cure will be gathering more supplies for another shipment.
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