LETHBRIDGE: A load of medical equipment donated by local organizations will not make it to a needy Mexican community this year, after the Rotary Club of Lethbridge Sunrise revealed it doesn't have the proper import permits.
The 120 pieces of equipment, including 32 wheeled walkers, 15 wheelchairs, 21 crutches and 16 canes, will now sit in storage until the club decides on the next step. Club president Berga Moen says it's too early to know yet what that next step will be.
"Now that we know that the medical equipment won't be going this time, we'll continue to work towards making sure it goes to an appropriate project," Berga Moen told Country 95 News Wednesday. "Whether the club will decide on where that's going to be is something for the future."
The Sunrise Club's initiative to help the community of Mazatlan, Mexico began more than a year ago, when members who spend winters there started meeting people from the Grand Prairie Rotary Club. Grand Prairie Rotarians had been donating buses, ambulances and accessible buses there for 10 years. The Lethbridge group then came to Lethbridge city council, who donated not one, but three buses to the cause. The group then went to work collecting donations to assist the Mexican city's handicapped population.
"We have been extremely grateful for the support we've received," says Moen. "Both from the City of Lethbridge in providing us with the buses and all of the donors who have come up with the equipment for us to take down."
The Lethbridge group worked closely with the Rotary Club in Mexico to arrange the necessary import permits for the busses, but an email from their counterparts revealed they won't have the paperwork for the equipment donations in time.
"This is a little bit of a setback, but it's not going to stop us by any means," says Moen. "We'll find a way that the rest of this story will come for the best for everyone, we just don't have all the answers right now."
The three donated school buses are set to leave Lethbridge for Mexico this Saturday.