SARASOTA, Fla. -- Today's Amazing Woman of the Suncoast was a nurse in Delaware, and her husband a neurosurgeon, when they decided to retire to Sarasota and relax and take it easy. But it never happened.
They learned about Project Hope at their church and dove in to help.
Judy Kraut and her husband recently helped load a semi-truck with medical supplies that will go to medical facilities in poverty-stricken countries. "We started with one blood pressure cuff and a pair of crutches."
That was 11 years ago. Since then, they've shipped 78 semi's from the Suncoast, packed to the brim with medical supplies. "There are tables or lights, instruments, we go from Band-aids to MRI and anything in between is what we sent."
She says representatives in Project Cure personally check out each clinic and hospital that they send donations to.
When Judy visited Sierra Leone, she saw the tremendous need for small things like needles. "They had 4 disposable needless that had been given to them 4 years ago…they were still using them."
And many places had such a short supply of bandages they were washing them and using them over and over.
To get the needed supplies, Judy and the other volunteers in Project Hope contact Suncoast hospitals, medical supply companies and manufacturers, asking them to donate equipment.
"A lot of our stuff is outdated because everything in a hospital is dated now, but it's still good."
Like hospital beds; Project Hope found beds in short supply in many poverty medical facilities. Several patients were sharing one single bed. Judy found them beds. "We get hospital beds from local hospitals when they're buying new ones they give us the old one."
The need there and the waste here at home breaks Judy's heart and drives her and the volunteers who help her to action. "A lot of these places have absolutely nothing. And that why it's so important to us, because you see what's being thrown away."
Yes, Project Hope, has taken over Judy's retirement. But she is a very happy lady.
And her life lesson? "I really think if people were not so self-centered, all about them, and that they look out to see neighbors in need and step up it, really makes a difference."
Judy and her husband actually pick up supplies. She hands them homemade baked goods. She's made a lot of baked good over the years but it's certainly paid off.