Joan and Segundo Velasquez are saving lives by collecting items that others were going to throw away.
Each year thousands of pounds of medical supplies and equipment are discarded because it doesn't meet standards and criteria set up by United States regulators, or it may be simply out of style. However, Joan and Segundo realized all the supplies and equipment could be used to save lives in third-world countries.
"The U.S. works with prepackaged medical kits. But not everything gets used. We collect those items and give them a new life."
Joan and Segundo formed Mano A Mano Medical Resources to collect the medical "waste." Fifty volunteers help them collect and ship supplies. Twelve area hospitals donate items to Mano A Mano.
"The U.S. is consistently upgrading. For instance, we've collected lots of mauve colored furniture that's perfectly good-it's just no longer in style here."
To date, Joan and Segundo have sent 440,000 pounds of supplies to Bolivia. Their organization has also helped construct 30 clinics in the poorest sections of the South American country.
Segundo and Joan have designated $1100 to Mano A Mano Medical Resources.