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Non-Profit uses drones to make a difference

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Medford, Wis. (WAOW) -- A unique search and rescue team headed out of Medford is helping families nationwide.

Brad Smith started using drones to survey crops in 2018. In just three years "Wings of hope" has transformed to what it is now.

Today Brad, his brother Michael and many other team members travel all over the country to aide in search in rescue missions using their high tech aerial and underwater drones.

"Family members, police departments, DNR, whether they've drowned or gone lost in the woods -- we try to find their lost ones -- we provide the service of aerial and underwater drones to locate them. "

The team has traveled as far as Oregon to provide search and rescue efforts for families in need -- all at no cost to them.

Brad saysm "Not having the answers of someone missing and not knowing where they are-- and being able to provides that; hey -- your loved ones coming home. "

Their mission --for your family by theirs. A hard job that they feel fortunate to do.

"What better job is there - -you get to go out there with your brother. Do something that's important that's valuable," says Michael Smith. Michael, has been certified scuba diver for over a decade, just three years ago he joined his brother to help the efforts. Both brother using their unique skill sets to work together.

"I cant image my son my daughter any of them out there and not having the answers or being able to finally put them at rest," continued Smith.

While they find joy in the service they provide the weight of the task can be heavy.

"That aspect is really rewarding -- but the realization that you found that person and their life is over. It's a really somber moment"

Both brothers have full time jobs -- this one is their passion project -- they ask for nothing in return. With some of these searches lasting a week -to two weeks, not just 24 hours, 100% of the donations goes back in the business.

The team says in the three years -- their expenses for things like travel and equipment have totaled over $100,000.

The Smith brothers say that through all their efforts and expenses, they'd spend a million more just to bring one more family peace.

If you would like to contact Wings of Hope, or donate in any way, you can find them below:

https://www.wingsofhopewi.com/
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Addison Van Patten

Sports Reporter

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