Our project is about love. Through the work of volunteers, we aspire to:
- Change the way people travel and start the journey for ordinary tourists to become humanitarians
- Prevent the waste of usable medical supplies and get them to those in most need
Not Just Tourists was founded with the purpose of getting medical supplies to those who can’t afford them. Ordinary tourists are given the means to change the lives of the locals they visit. After seeing first-hand the serious lack of medical supplies in Cuba in 1990, Dr. Ken Taylor and his wife Denise—from St. Catharines, Ontario—started taking medical supplies to remote areas in Cuba. Soon others who were traveling to Cuba began approaching them to take medical supplies too, and the Not Just Tourists phenomenon started.
Since it’s inception 25 years ago, it has spread with chapters across Canada and over 10,000 suitcases delivered to 82 countries.
Not Just Tourists receives donations from Canada’s largest hospitals, clinics, medical suppliers and individuals. The supplies donated are typically gauze, bandages, surgical instruments, masks, gloves, antiseptics, IV kits, urinary supplies and birthing kits. The supplies are packed by volunteers into suitcases during weekly “packing parties”. Travellers sign up and are given the suitcases to deliver to remote clinics where they are needed. The project does not accept funding, is non-political, non-religious. Everything is accomplished through volunteers.
We Are Collaborative
We Are Transparent
We Are Non-Bureaucratic
We Are Committed
We Are Inclusive
The Project Is About Love
The Toronto Chapter has distribution centers and pick up points throughout the city. Through its network of donors, volunteers and travellers Not Just Tourists Toronto is able to fulfill its mission of getting supplies to where they are needed most.