G3Box is a non-profit organization that works to covert steel shipping containers into medical grade clinics, including maternity and emergency relief. From left: ASU students Gabrielle Palermo, Susanna Young and Clay Tyler.

Submitted

Local entrepreneurs are in the final stages of getting their portable medical clinic repurposed from a steel shipping container sent to Kenya.

“To see the support of our network has been amazing,” said Susanna Young, one of the four founders of G3Box.

A week ago, G3Box, a non-profit founded by four Arizona State students, created an website at IndieGoGo.com to help finance the final stages of their mobile maternity clinic. As of Tuesday, the team had already raised more than $11,000 of their $17,650 goal.

“We’re so astounded by the response,” Young said.

The fundraising goal for the group was aimed at 32 percent for the first week, but instead is nearly two-thirds complete after little more than a week. More than three weeks remain in the campaign.

“It means so much (to be this close to the goal). ... We’ve put in so much in the last couple of years,” Young said.

Originally a class project, the actual transition from hypothetical answer to a physical solution occurred when Young and classmate Clay Tyler teamed up with fellow students Gabrielle Palermo and John Walters. Building of the clinic involved a lot of effort, including support from DPR Construction and engineering firm SmithGroupJJR, both of Phoenix.

Originally, the team envisioned sending their clinic to Malawi after Young and Tyler took a trip to the country, but the maternity clinic will be sent to Kenya where the group hopes it will lower the high maternal mortality rates.

Once the money has been raised, the container will be sent to Boston to get outfitted with the medical equipment, Young said. From there, it will be shipped to Kenya and become a functioning clinic.

In one case of generosity, a local company matched its own employees’ donations, raising $5,000 in total toward the goal.

Hamid Shojaee, the CEO of Axosoft, a Scottsdale-based software company, agreed to match his employee’s donations, Young said.

To learn more about the project or donate to the IndieGoGo online campaign, visit evtnow.com/5er.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-5645 or sspring@evtrib.com

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