For me, Project Embrace began in early 2015 with a volunteering experience I had at a local hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. What made this hospital unique was their philosophy that no patient should ever be turned away. We served everyone because everyone deserves to be healthy. I fell in love with this vision, and ultimately, stayed on as a volunteer for 2 years because of it.
My role as a volunteer was in the pediatric prosthetic and orthotic services (POPS) department, where I assisted in the construction of various medical braces to be outfitted for children in need. It didn't take long for me to notice that our younger patients would often outgrow these devices very quickly, and would need a replacement soon after. Sometimes, it would be as short as two weeks before we saw the same patient come back in. We'd make them their new brace but end up throwing away their "old" brace even though it was still in great condition.
When this happened, the braces would end up in one of three places, they'd either go to straight to the landfill, be incinerated, or end up sitting in the closet of a patient that no longer needs them and I couldn't help but ask myself why we were doing this. I wanted to take all these devices and have them go to other patients in need. With that thought in mind, I started work on creating a program that would fix this and Project Embrace was born.