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From low-cost tech to free medical supplies: We Care Tucson supports people in need

Providing free medical equipment, bridging the digital divide and even reducing e-waste within the community
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Posted at 2:59 PM, Jun 06, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Each month we focus on a Southern Arizona nonprofit with our Giving Project: Doing Well by Doing Good.

For June, we're featuring We Care Tucson, a nonprofit filling several needs in our community—providing free medical equipment, bridging the digital divide and even reducing e-waste within the community.

This month, we're making it even easier to support our Giving Project recipients with KGUN 9's new texting feature. Simply text: givingproject to 50155 to donate.

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"I get opportunities and I want to give back," says Ramon Laborin, a volunteer at We Care Tucson.

Ramon Laborin has been helped by We Care Tucson, and now he's helping as a volunteer for the nonprofit himself.
      
Laborin was once in need of a wheelchair, while he waited for insurance to pay for a new one. He turned to We Care Tucson, and they loaned him one.

Now, Laborin gives back with his time and his knowledge about refurbishing computers—it's a cycle, in which he can help someone, just like We Care Tucson helped him.

"Because you're helping someone else out make a future," says Laborin. "So it does feel good."

The computers he and many other volunteers refurbish are then sold at very reasonable prices in the We Care Tucson store on Stone Avenue just north of Glenn.

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MeMe Aguila works as executive director of We Care Tucson, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to bridge the digital divide and loan free medical equipment for people in need.

"What we sell helps fund all of this," says We Care Tucson's executive director MeMe Aguila.

The all of this Aguila is referring to? Much-needed medical equipment and supplies.

So, We Care Tucson helps the community in two ways—with medical supplies and technology.

"People think they don't go hand in hand but they actually really do. People that are coming in here for the medical also can't afford the technology," says Aguila.

That two-pronged approach means people needing computers or reusable medical devices and supplies have a place to go.

The medical devices are loaned out to the people who need them—they hand out the supplies, which are either donated or purchased with money from the sale of the computers.

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"This is such a hot commodity," Aguila says, gesturing to We Care Tucson's supply of incontinence products. "It's like gold, and we can't keep them on the shelves."

We Care Tucson is especially low on items like adult incontinence products. To help them keep their supply stocked, Aguila says the organization can always use monetary donations, as well as donations of medical devices and supplies, and computers.

"We're always helping somebody and making a difference. They really appreciate it. It's very rewarding," Aguila tells me.

In mid-June, they're hosting a tech camp for middle school-aged youth—plus they offer computer and tech classes for older adults.

We invite you to make a donation to We Care Tucson with our new texting feature.

Simply text: givingproject to 50155 to donate.

Our partners in the Giving Project, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, will again match the first $500 in donations.

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Pat Parris is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. He is a graduate of Sabino High School where he was the 1982 high school state track champion in the 800 meters. While in high school and college, he worked part-time in the KGUN 9 newsroom. Share your story ideas and important issues with Pat by emailing pat.parris@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

THE GIVING PROJECT

The Giving Project

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GIVING PROJECT TOTAL CASH DONATIONS SINCE LAUNCH

  • $1876.00 - May 2022
  • $1523.00 - June 2022
  • $3375.00 - July 2022
  • $5128.00 - August 2022
  • $2050.00 - September 2022
  • $6500.00 - October 2022
  • $3006.00 - November 2022
  • $6500.00 - December 2022
  • $7535.00 - January 2023
  • $1260.00 - February 2023
  • $3500.00 - March 2023
  • $4395.00 - April 2023
  • $580.00 - May 2023
  • $2164.49 - June 2023
  • $1760.00 - July 2023
  • $1175.00 - August 2023
  • $17,153 - September 2023
  • $500.00 - October 2023
  • $1770.00 - November 2023
  • $5540.00 - December 2023
  • $5350.00 - January 2024
  • $4087.00 - February 2024
  • $4500.00 - March 2024
  • $1055.00 - April 2024
  • $666.48 - May 2024

TOTAL TO DATE - $92,948.97

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE NON PROFIT
The Giving Project wants to identify local nonprofits that address community needs to spotlight a new nonprofit every month. Email details and contact information to givingproject@kgun9.com.