A Winnipeg charity that has diverted more than 1,000 tons of used medical equipment from local landfills to needy faraway hospitals may soon have to throw in the towel.
International Hope Canada says it will be forced to shut down operations if a donated warehouse space cannot be found.
"We feel we've done an awful lot of good in the world since 1997," said Kevin Stewart, president of the charitable, non-profit, all-volunteer organization that provides medical supplies and equipment to facilities in developing countries.
It was founded 22 years ago, to collect and share redundant but usable items donated by hospitals, clinics and private individuals.
"We've had the same landlord — a Winnipeg businessman who's been very generous providing us with space, but there was always the understanding that we do not pay a cent until he rents it out to a commercial tenant," Stewart said Tuesday.
Such a tenant has been found; International Hope must leave its Transcona industrial area warehouse Saturday.
The non-profit is seeking a new location with 5,000-8,000 square feet of space for large items such as hospital beds, gurneys, dental chairs, and boxes of supplies.
Before closing its doors, the charity planned to load containers for Guatemala, El Salvador and Nigeria.
This week, workers were packing a container with some 30 hospital beds, two examination tables, a birthing bed, gurneys and stretchers, as well as items such as vacuum pumps and an ultrasound machine. There are also 500 boxes of supplies (masks, gloves) and some surgical equipment.
The hospital and clinic supplies range from obstetrics and gynecology to urology to dental to lab materials.
What International Hope can't ship, it will store in a shipping container until it can find another space, said Stewart, adding he hopes it won't have to take the redundant equipment to the landfill.
"We're still going to look — we've got lots of feelers out," he said.
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Updated on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 5:42 PM CDT: Adds photo