Anita Annesley and Drew Cumpson are filling a large suitcase with medical supplies. Annesley says they will be delivered to clinics in the third world through the not-for-profit organization Not Just Tourists.
Six years ago in Peru, Cumpson was injured and is now a quadriplegic.
That experience has led Cumpson to start a local chapter.
“I was someone who used these clinics and these medical facilities to get to where I am today.”
Cumpson says the organization uses tourists to deliver the supplies in suitcases where they’re needed saving money and enhancing an individual’s holiday experience.
“They are able to see first hand where these supplies are going when they deliver them to the clinic and what they get used for on a regular basis,” Cumpson said.
The first question people often have is: is this legal?
The organization says that the donations qualify as “humanitarian aid” and each traveller is allowed to carry up to 10 kilograms of donations.
Annesley is one of a half-dozen people helping Cumpson.
She says her job as a personal service worker puts her into contact with individuals that have excess medical supplies — supplies that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
“One client, in particular, we went through a bunch of stuff and they decided you know what they wanted to donate.”
Cumpson says those supplies can end up just about anywhere in the world.
“We have a lot of clinics in the Caribbean so Dominican, Cuba, Jamaica.”
Not Just Tourists also has partnerships with clinics in Syria and countries in Africa.
Like many fledgling, not-for-profit organizations, Cumpson needs help getting the Kingston chapter of Not Just Tourists fully operational.
He’s looking for volunteers to help pack the medical supplies, the group needs suitcases, and tourists to deliver them.
He needs a space for the new chapter to work out of as well.
“I’m out in the country so it doesn’t help to get volunteers out here, especially when there is no public transit basically.”
Not Just Tourists started in Canada almost 30 years ago and is now expanding into the United States and Germany.