A little-known secret nestled off of Interstate 75 here has been a powerhouse for providing millions of dollars in medical supplies locally and globally.
The nonprofit Caring Partners International, a Christian ministry founded in 1992, has distributed $40 million in medical supplies to 40 countries since 2012, said Jim Kuhn, director of ministry operations.
A lean force of three full-time employees, three part-time employees and a large volunteer force also complete up to eight mission trips a year to countries including Belize, Guatemala, Ecuador and Thailand, said Dr. Adam Reed, of Middletown, president of CPI.
The agency delivers “evangelism through medicine,” by working to set up health clinics and churches in the foreign countries they visit, Adam Reed said.
Adam Reed and his wife Rhonda, who serves as executive director, have been a part of CPI since 1993. Adam Reed worked as a chiropractor in Middletown for nearly 20 years before he “surrendered to ministry” full time six years ago.
In the medical clinics, they provide general medicine, dentistry, eye care, chiropractic services and a pharmacy. They help up to 10,000 people in a year.
Locally, the agency’s Tristate Care Network has been operating for four years. It’s grown to over 60 providers, including churches, food pantries and homeless shelters, in a 10-county area including Butler, Warren, Montgomery, Hamilton and Clark counties, Kuhn said.
“We equip local churches to meet health care needs of the community,” Kuhn said.
Depending on the unique needs, Caring Partners will provide health care supplies to members of its Tristate Care Network — everything from wheelchairs, shower chairs, walkers, toilet seats, personal hygiene items, prenatal and children’s vitamins and cleaning supplies.
Kuhn said in 2014, there were over 300,000 people in the 10-county area living at or below the poverty line. Over 22,000 pounds of supplies were dispersed to 15,000 people in 2014.
“There’s a great need,” Kuhn said. “We’re trying to grow north,” into Dayton.
Pastor Joe Clark, of Millville Avenue Church of God in Hamilton, said for the past four years the church has worked through Caring Partners to help fill community needs.
Over the years, Clark said Caring Partners has allowed them to provide almost 10 wheelchairs, 14 walkers, eight shower chairs, a hospital bed and personal care bags to over 250 people.
“One of their mindsets is to help the local churches minister to the community as the local church and not Caring Partners International,” Clark said. “If someone needs a wheelchair, we can get it to them and minister to them.”
A recent example was being able to provide an adjustable hospital bed to a man with disabilities who has no use of his legs. The man had tried to get a hospital bed for three years without success.
“It lets people keep their dignity; that’s part of the reason (Caring Partners) likes to work with local churches because they have more contacts,” Clark said. “Sometimes the simplest things are the most needed.”
Rhonda Reed said the agency will also ship boxes of medical supplies — “mission kits” — to churches across the nation preparing to embark on mission trips. Churches will fill out an application and make a request with their needs, such as gauze, clean syringes and sutures.