Local Non-profit Helps Overseas Hospital

By: Erica Dao
By: Erica Dao

These beds and medical supplies are heading out of Wisconsin and across the sea to Tbilisi, Georgia, a former Soviet Union country.
"We can never do enough. There's such a great desperate need. We don't even realize how lucky we are over here,” said Thuy Smith of Thuy Smith International Outreach
In 1998, Smith established Thuy Smith International Outreach, a non-profit organization. She started out by helping people in Vietnam, her home country. The response from the people she helped there is pushing her to continue helping others in need.
"It's a lot of work but once you go over there and you see the items being put to use, just the gratitude of the people, it's just like okay, we're going back and let's get our next one going."
The truckloads of supplies will help 200 patients who are being moved to a different hospital that has nothing.
Smith feels a strong connection with the people she's helped, even if they're thousands of miles away...
"I truly believe they're my brother, they're my sister and that could be me."
Wissota Health and Regional Vent Center donated some materials and the other equipment filling the trucks was collected from various hospitals and nursing home across Wisconsin and Minnesota.
But these donations won't solve all of the hospitals problems. The hospital has only a few dollars to treat each patient.
"Their sole funding is 6.75 lira and that's equivalent to $3.50 American dollars and that's their only source of money."
Smith says this shipment is a good start, but she hopes to get more grants so she can make positive changes full-time


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