Volunteer Jack Horvath Prepares Boxes of Medical Supplies

Longtime MedShare volunteer Jack Horvath tapes boxes of medical supplies packed by other volunteers. These boxes will be sent to hospitals in need around the world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BjIjV4Kze0

Does this inspire you to volunteer? Click here to sign up – we’d love to have you!

Volunteer Spotlight: Nanetta Pon

Nanetta (front, center) at a 2011 container shipment ceremony

“Nanetta Pon has volunteered with us 60 times (that’s 180 hours!) since she first started in April 2009 when she was only 14 or 15 years old. She has the most hours of any of our volunteers under age 18. She volunteers out of her own motivation; not because she has to fulfill some community service requirement.

We enjoy working with Nanetta. She is willing to do anything we ask and she works hard during the time she’s here. It is impressive that she keeps coming back when I know she has a very busy schedule with high school and other outside activities.” – Terry Monday, Volunteer Programs Manager

Name: Nanetta Pon

Age and Occupation: Seventeen-year-old high school student

Hometown: Fremont, California

Please describe yourself in one sentence.I like to get involved in great causes.

When did you first hear about MedShare? I found it while searching on VolunteerMatch for opportunities open to teenagers.

How would you describe your volunteer experience at MedShare? Wonderful! The volunteer coordinators and other volunteers are always welcoming, sorting is fun, and I learn something new about medical procedures every time.

How long have you been volunteering at MedShare? Since 2009

What inspired you to get involved? I’d been involved in my school’s recycling program, so it was MedShare’s environmental side that first interested me. I liked the idea of keeping supplies out of landfills. It was only after I’d started volunteering that I realized how much it was helping save people’s lives.

What is it that motivates you to keep volunteering at MedShare? MedShare is great about letting each volunteer know that he/she is making a difference, from the flags to the pictures to the stories people come in to tell. They keep me inspired to keep coming to the warehouse.

Have you been involved with MedShare in other ways besides sorting supplies? If so, please explain. This is more about MedShare helping me out: Last year I received a giant box of old, unsortable gloves to bring to my school. We’re still using them during our weekly sort of the school’s bottles and cans.

What has been your favorite MedShare moment or story during your time serving with us? After the iPad came out, one of the sorters accidentally got our table excited over a box of eye pads.

This story is an excerpt from our January e-news. To read more – including a story of fate’s role in a Haiti container delivery and a college MedTeam in Honduras – click here.

Mid-December Western Region Volunteers

At MedShare, we’re lucky to host over 18,000 volunteers a year. These generous people and groups help us sort and box the 20,000 lbs of medical supplies that we collect weekly from our hospital and manufacturer partners. The sheer volume of work they provide for MedShare is incredible, and we don’t hesitate to say that our work wouldn’t be possible without them.

 Today, we’d like to recognize a few groups who’ve recently volunteered in our Western Region.

On December 17, these Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership volunteers sorted drapes and packed 77 boxes.

On December 16, Kaiser-Performance Excellence volunteers sorted 741 lbs and packed 50 boxes.

On December 15, Kaiser Permanente volunteers sorted 439 lbs and packed 47 boxes.

We’d like to recognize our volunteers for another accomplishment. On Tuesday, December 20, the Western Region had one of its biggest sorting days ever!  Regular volunteers and groups from OSISoft, Nektar, and the Bay Oaks Blasters packed an impressive 664 boxes and sorted 5,500 lbs.

These volunteers are part of the group that packed 664 boxes and sorted 5,500 lbs on December 20.

These volunteers are part of the group that packed 664 boxes and sorted 5,500 lbs on December 20.

These volunteers are part of the group that packed 664 boxes and sorted 5,500 lbs on December 20.

If you’d like to sign up to volunteer, click here. Thanks again to everyone pictured here, and the many others who aren’t.

Volunteers: We Are Thankful

This is the time of year for reflection, thankfulness, and gratitude. What is MedShare thankful for? Many, many things, chief among those being our wonderful volunteers.

At MedShare, we’re lucky to host over 18,000 volunteers a year. These generous people and groups help us sort and box the 20,000 lbs of medical supplies that we collect weekly from our hospital and manufacturer partners. The sheer volume of work they provide for MedShare is incredible, and we don’t hesitate to say that our work wouldn’t be possible without them.

Today, we’d like to recognize these wonderful groups that have volunteered in our Western Region recently:

On November 30, 2011, this Kaiser Permanente group sorted 249 lbs and packed 3 boxes.

On December 2, 2011, this Triage group packed 18 boxes.

On Dec. 3, 2011, these Chinese Bible Church volunteers helped sort 1,190 lbs and pack 85 boxes.

On Dec. 3, 2011, Tierney's group helped sort 1,910 lbs and pack 85 boxes.

On Dec. 3, 2011, these DVHS Giving Tree volunteers helped sort 1,686 lbs and pack 50 boxes.

On Dec. 3, 2011, these Safeway volunteers helped sort 1,686 lbs and pack 50 boxes.

On Dec. 7, 2011, these Abbott Vascular volunteers sorted 430 lbs and packed 81 boxes.

On Dec. 8, 2011, this Kaiser Permanente group sorted catheters and packed 39 boxes.

On Dec. 9, 2011, this Kaiser Permanente group sorted 883 lbs and packed 68 boxes.

On Dec. 10, 2011, this Chinese Bible Church group sorted gloves and packed 57 boxes.

On Dec. 10, 2011, this Kaiser Permanente group sorted gloves and packed 29 boxes.

On Dec. 13, 2011, this Chevron group sorted IV supplies and packed 35 boxes.

If you’d like to sign up to volunteer, click here. Thanks again to everyone pictured here, and the many others who aren’t.

Boys to Men Georgia Volunteers

Boys to Men Georgia, a nonprofit mentoring network, was created to guide boys 12-17 through their passage to manhood. Their mission is to help every boy become the man they want to be.

Michael with a tape gun.

Busy with activity. Unpack, label, repack.

Jordan taking pride in his work and packing neatly.

Having so much fun sorting syringes and other stuff.

On Saturday, December 10, 2011, Boys to Men held their annual service project at MedShare, and it was a smashing hit for BOTH parties. The experience was great for the boys, and we certainly appreciated their incredible sorting and packing skills.

Ben and Julio, mentee and mentor working side by side.

Since we opened up the event to family, a few moms showed up and helped out.

The Boys to Men tables in action.

These boys made a big difference. How big? In just 3 hours, they packed over 3,000 lbs of medical supplies… enough to fill a third of a 40-foot ocean container!

Jordan filling out the label that goes on the box showing exactly what's in it and when it expires.

Michael just finishing another box off.

The crew, after our 3 hours of service.

Thanks so much, Boys to Men!

Repost: Webmarketing123 Works With MedShare

A few weeks ago, our Western Region was lucky enough to host a volunteer group from Webmarketing123, a digital marketing agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. Greg Hanano, a Marketing Research Analyst at Webmarketing123, wrote a wonderful post about their experience that we wanted to share here:

A couple weeks ago, our company dedicated a morning to volunteering at a local non-profit organization, MedShare.  MedShare is dedicated to improving the environment and healthcare through the efficient recover and redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment to undeserved healthcare facilities in developing countries.  They are a group of people dedicated to helping developing countries get the supplies they need, while keeping medical surplus out of landfill.  The organization began in 1998, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and opened the 2nd location in San Leandro in 2008.

When local Bay Area hospitals have a surplus of supplies (which is not uncommon), they are placed aside for MedShare to pick up, segment, organize, and distribute for shipment to the countries in need.  When a hospital in a developing area needs supplies, they can easily place an order with MedShare.  Volunteers (like us) sort through the supplies to prepare for incoming orders.  We took out items that were expired, separated the tools that were in condition to ship, and crated the supplies into individual boxes.

MedShare is bringing awareness to issues in the world that are rarely in our day-to-day minds.  “There is a shortage of supplies in third world country hospitals, and we throw away hundreds of supplies every day.”  It is important to realize that these are not expensive or rare supplies, but simple hospital necessities like gloves, cotton swabs, or string for stitches.  Doctors working in these areas of need have had to hang up their gloves because they cannot throw them away.  This is a huge health hazard causing the spread of infectious disease.  This is something that has stuck with me.  Every country should be able to use clean medical supplies with every patient and yet, something as simple as clean gloves can be a rare and expensive privilege.

After our briefing, we took a tour of the warehouse and got started at our tables.  There we began our work by sorting through a large pile of supplies and separating them into their bins.  This was the best part of the process.  As a company, we worked together and bonded while efficiently filling 170 boxes of supplies, ready to be flown to different countries in need.

I am so glad that we, as a company, got to share this time together.  This is a great place for companies to help out the community and the world, while bonding at the same time.  What pains me most is that great non-profits, like MedShare, could make a bigger impact if they could expand to every major city in America.  MedShare has been struggling to get their brand name noticed.  That’s where we come in.  WebMarketing123 has decided to start a foundation, dedicated to providing free digital marketing services to non-profit organizations.  The new foundation will help other nonprofits spend their Google advertising dollars wisely, increase their following on Facebook and Twitter, and boost their organic search rankings.  When a non-profit is more noticeable, that’s when they get more help, more donations, and increase the opportunity to make a big impact on the world.

More information will be released soon about Webmarketing123′s non-profit foundation. Please keep in touch with us at#wm123 and check out our blog for new updates. To learn more about MedShare and how your company can get involved, visit www.medshare.org.

The staff at MedShare would like to thank the wonderful Webmarketing123 team for taking the time to sort and box medical supplies. Without volunteers like them, we wouldn’t be able to achieve our mission of bridging the gap between surplus and need.

If you’d like to volunteer, click here to sign up. Opportunities are available in both the San Francisco Bay Area as well as the Atlanta area. 

Stryker Volunteers at MedShare

On Friday, November 11, 2011, Stryker employees took time of of their busy days to volunteer at MedShare’s Western Region. Their task for the day was to sort and box medical supplies.

MedShare relies on volunteers to sort and box the 20,000 lbs of medical supplies we collect from hospitals and manufacturers on a weekly basis. Without the 18,000 individuals who volunteer yearly, our medical supplies wouldn’t have made it to 88 countries on over 700 containers in 13 years.

Thanks for your gift of time and energy, Stryker! Volunteers like you are truly the fuel for our mission.

If you’d like to sign up for a volunteer session, click here.