Longtime volunteers demonstrate dedication to CAMO’s mission

Nearly 20 years ago, a friend of John Croft’s read the book “Faith in Action: Medical Missionaries in Central America.” That book, published in 1997, is an inspirational documentary of the early years of Central American Medical Outreach (CAMO) told through photographs and prose.

The book was so inspirational, it led John and his wife, Wanda, to become two of CAMO’s longest-tenured volunteers.
“20 years ago, we visited CAMO and met with Kathy,” said Wanda.

“She said if you want to do it, you need to be consistent, we need you here.” The Croft’s were already inspired before that introduction to Kathy and CAMO – that meeting solidified their commitment to the mission.

They are so committed, they drive 38 miles, one way, every Monday, from their home in Sugarcreek, Ohio to Orrville.

After working as a nurse for nearly 40 years, 30 years as part of the nursing faculty at Kent State University Tuscarawas. Wanda is a natural fit as a CAMO nurse volunteer – she knows all of the supplies and equipment and what it is used for.

Initially, John was instrumental at CAMO as a forklift and box truck driver. But there were needs at CAMO that weren’t being addressed.

Kathy knew of John’s background as a production worker at Gradall and of his mechanical aptitude. CAMO had a need for someone to lead the prosthetics area – and John stepped right in.

“I love seeing the photos and videos of people in Honduras using the prosthetics that were donated here, I worked on them here, and it is making their life better there. I find satisfaction in that and there is something here every volunteer can find satisfaction in,” John said.

Asked what inspires her to drive 38 miles one-way every Monday after nearly 20 years of volunteering, Wanda’s answer was simple: “The model works,” she said. “Knowing how CAMO has integrated with the Honduran culture and the outreach into the population there is inspiring. I come every week because it is just so neat to know someone can use what we would otherwise throw away here in this country.”

At CAMO, there’s always room for one more. We are always in need of volunteers in all areas of our operations. From nurses to packers, sorters, drivers, maintenance, biomedical engineers – we need your help!

To learn more about volunteering or to schedule a tour of our facility, call (330) 683-5956 or just stop in between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

Post A Comment