NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — What you may have in a closet could change someone's life.
A Newport News nonprofit is calling for more donations of medical equipment to help people around the world, including in Ukraine, get the help they need.
“Over here on this side of the room are items that we’ve already catalogued and itemized," said Shannon Bednarova, the founder of the Embrace Foundation, which collects gently-used durable medical equipment. "A lot of these items that you see here, people just store in their attics, basements or garages, or they end up in the landfill."
The point is to recycle items like shower chairs, wheelchairs, crutches, hospital beds and other equipment to countries across the world that are desperate for supplies.
“In other countries, they don’t care if something is gently used," Bednarova explained. "If they’ve been walking around, for example, on a stick, or they don’t have any other way to get around, they’d love to have a gently-used wheelchair."
The foundation's warehouse is already stocked with plenty of durable medical equipment, but organizers say there are still a couple big-ticket items they need more of, like crutches and wheelchairs, to help their mission in Ukraine.
Aside from those, they also are collecting bandages and syringes — anything that can be used in the Ukrainian field hospitals.
"They don’t have the same access to care and equipment that we do," Bednarova said.
She says the call to help was a simple one to answer.
“It's a way to give back," she said. "I think it’s something that we’re all called to do, is to help others."
To learn more about the Embrace Foundation, click here.