“There doesn’t have to be a dock or a port where we go, there just has to be a coast, and wherever that coast is we’ll get there”. Dr. Benjamin LaBrot, founder of Floating Doctors, is referring to the accessibility that their non-profit organization has instituted in isolated developing areas in the Caribbean. He and his sister, Sky LaBrot, by way of ship, distribute donated medical supplies, and implement free acute and preventative health care, to these coastal areas.
Panama, located in Central America, is bordered by both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, its location being one of the reasons that Floating Doctors has implemented a free ‘floating’ health care service there. Floating Doctors wishes to reduce the burden of disease on people in these developing areas, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to receive this treatment, nor be able to afford their own fully equipped hospitals.
The Southern Wind, the Floating Doctors’ boat, carries 20 working people and 11 tons of relief supplies. It is the answer to Dr. Benjamin LaBrot’s hope to provide more medical supplies than just what he had formerly been able to carry in a few backpacks.
FEAT heard about Floating Doctors through a friend, and Tufts Medical Student, Catherine Dam, who will be volunteering with the program this month. She mentioned her desire to provide the kids there with FEAT Socks, to brighten their spirits, and to keep their feet comfortable.
When I first reached out to Floating Doctor’s Sky LaBrot, Co-Founder and CEO, she was so excited to hear of our enthusiasm regarding a sock donation. She politely stopped me during my spiel to say, “It would be so great to bring socks for the people here, but its very warm year round and they just don’t really wear shoes...”. This concept quickly made sense, but we kept discussing possibilities, and she expressed a need for socks at one of their homes for elderly residents, which is run by Floating Doctors. With about 100 residents, it would be easy for FEAT to supply them with more than the necessary number of socks to keep their feet happy.
Volunteers are the backbone to Floating Doctors. While medical experience is most appreciated, they accept anyone with positive attitude, willingness to work hard, and a desire to help people. This program thrives from the selflessness of doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals, students, and goodhearted people.
With the socks shipped, we are excited to hear back from our friends at Floating Doctors. Over the next few weeks, we will definitely document Catherine’s travels to Panama, and hopefully she will return with plenty of photos and inspirational stories to share with the rest of us.
Please if you can, donate to Floating Doctors at http://floatingdoctors.com/donation/
Want an idea of what your money can do?
-Bianca, Spreading Smiles