“As the good ship HOPE got closer, you could see her crew lined up along the rail. It was really quite touching."
Posted: May 17, 2018
On a warm day in 1974, Gary and Margaret Caufield joined a crowd of spectators at the Philadelphia harbor to await the final docking of the SS HOPE. Their daughter, Joan, and her fellow high school band members were there to welcome the ship to shore.
As they waited, Gary explored a rusty abandoned warehouse on the next pier. There, he watched as the 15,000-ton hospital ship, guided by a small tugboat, slowly made her way into the harbor. He had his camera ready and documented the impressive event.
“As the good ship HOPE got closer, you could see her crew lined up along the rail. It was really quite touching,” Gary recalls. “We were even given a tour of the ship. We got to see so much – the operating rooms, the isolation ward. It was a miniature floating hospital.”
The Caufields’ devotion to Project HOPE has been steadfast for 50 years, and they recently decided that they want their commitment to global health to be part of their legacy by including Project HOPE in their estate plans.
“As we realigned our priorities in life, we decided we needed to execute a plan – not just talk about it, but do something about it,” says Gary.
He feels particularly passionate about the importance Project HOPE places on training health care workers to most effectively address needs in their own countries.