Valley nonprofit, which provides free medical care for thousands each year, hit by theft

News

A valley nonprofit providing free medical care to thousands each year needing help of its own, after someone stole important medical equipment, bringing their work, to a standstill.

Life Hope Centers is based out of Clovis and has provided $1.4 million in free healthcare-related services to those in need, up and down California, the past four years.

Monday, the nonprofit hit hard, after organizers say, someone cut the locks on their trailer.

Usually, the trailer is full of medical supplies.

“We provide free dental care, vision care and medical screening,” Life Hope Centers Director Dr. Edward Urbina said.

The nonprofit runs through the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

“We’re booking right now to 2022, and we’re doing a program every other week,” Urbina said.

The next clinic, Sunday, here in Visalia.

Set up has already begun inside Visalia’s Seventh-day Adventist Church, but for doctors to use all of these medical devices, they need two key pieces.

Those pieces are missing.

Two 15-gallon air compressors.

“My first impression, how could I have left the door open,” Urbina said.

But Urbina, who’d parked the trailer here at the church Sunday night, returning from another clinic out of town, didn’t leave anything open.

“The straps were just simply torn or cut,” Urbina said, pointing to where the compressors used to sit.

The compressors combined are worth about $1,000, but they do much more.

“All of our systems run on air, largely, everything we do,” Urbina said. “We can’t operate the dental clinic without the compressors.”

Urbina, now in a tight spot.

He needs new air compressors by Sunday.

He says, a few people have reached out to the nonprofit.

He’s hopeful the thief or thieves, could find it in their heart, to return them.

“What I regret, is that there are people that need services, that potentially could be impacted by the loss of these compressors,” Urbina said. “Compressors can be replaced.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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