Project C.U.R.E. offers many ways to get involved. Obviously, one of the main ways to work with the organization is to donate medical equipment. Some of the most needed supplies include anesthesia machines, electrocautery units, ventilators and X-ray machines. Though most of the supplies may come from hospitals or wholesale distributors, individuals looking to get rid of an old pair of crutches or a hospital bed can drop them off at one of Project C.U.R.E.'s collection centers.
Volunteers are needed to sort, catalog and pack all of this equipment in Project C.U.R.E.'s distribution and collection centers. Biomedical engineers and technicians are particularly needed, as each piece of equipment is tested prior to its shipment abroad. Medical professionals such as doctors and nurses are also welcome faces on the volunteer line, as they help volunteers who aren't familiar with medical supplies sort donations or gather them for packing. Finally, anyone, regardless of level of experience, can participate in sorting donations and hand-packing the kits and containers. Other volunteer duties might include cataloging the donations via Project C.U.R.E.'s extensive tracking system or fundraising. Project C.U.R.E. estimates that their volunteers give about 50,000 hours of their time each year.
You can also get involved by making a monetary donation, but do-gooder, beware: But before you write a check, ensure that you are actually donating to the Colorado-based Project C.U.R.E. As you might imagine, the word "cure" is a highly sought-after word when it comes to naming fundraising organizations. In 1997, the New York Times reported that a group known as Project Cure (not the subject of this article) had raised $2.6 million, of which only $3,500 actually went to fund research or medical care [source: Waldman]. To ensure that you're not scammed by a philanthropy con artist, investigate any organizations you're considering, and don't give your credit card number out over the phone. When you give to Project C.U.R.E., you can ensure your money actually goes to the shipment of supplies. The organization has a very low operating budget, and a donation of $150 could get a C.U.R.E. KIT on its way to the developing world [source: Jackson].
For more on organizations trying to improve the health of people all around the world, see the links on the next page.