TUSCALOOSA NEWS: Nonprofit group replenishes medical supplies after tornado

In response to the tornadoes that tore through Alabama in late April, we sent two 40-foot containers of medical supplies for relief. On September 18, Tuscaloosa News ran a story on our support, and we wanted to share it with you:

LEND A HAND: Nonprofit group replenishes medical supplies after tornado

By Matt Cole
September 18, 2011

MedShare, a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta that provides surplus medical supplies to places in need, usually assists internationally. But after the April 27 tornado, MedShare answered the call to help Tuscaloosa.

The Alabama Fire College and the Alabama Association of Volunteer Fire Departments contacted the Catholic Health Association, which is a partner with MedShare. The association connected the groups and from there, supplies were sent where they were needed in Alabama.

MedShare partners with hospitals and manufacturers of medical supplies, which donate surplus medical supplies.

“We called the manufacturers,” said Kimberly McCollum, marketing and public relations manager for MedShare, “and asked if they were willing to donate to help Alabama. They agreed, and we got everything set up.”

MedShare sent to the fire departments in need in Alabama two 40-foot containers that were filled with syringes, infusion units, IV kits, oxygen masks, bandages, gauze, sutures and other medical supplies. These items were used to replenish supplies that were exhausted as a result of the tornadoes in April.

Alabama native Lewis Manderson and his wife, Faye, were credited with making a financial donation to MedShare that helped make it all possible.

“We contacted Mr. Manderson,” McCollum said, “and told him what we were doing with the relief effort in Alabama, and he made a very generous donation. His donation covered most of everything that was sent over.”

Allan Rice, executive director of Alabama Fire College, said he was thrilled with the donation.

“The amazing generosity of the Mandersons, MedShare, and Catholic Charities,” Rice said in a news release, “will help in Alabama’s continuing recovery from the April storms. It isn’t often that first responders have to ask for help, but many fire departments will be able to continue serving their communities due to the kindness of these individuals and organizations.”

See also:

Four months later, Alabama firefighters get back on feet with assistance from MedShare

Atlanta nonprofit provides tornado relief in the form of medical supplies to volunteer firefighters 

ATLANTA, Georgia – MedShare, an innovative nonprofit headquartered in Atlanta, partnered with the Alabama Fire College (AFC) to provide tornado relief. The nonprofit sent two 40-foot containers of medical supplies in response to the tornado that tore through the Southeast in late April.

The containers were sent on June 1 and June 30, and included over 2,000 boxes of brand new items such as syringes, infusion units, IV kits, oxygen masks, bandages, gauze, and sutures. The containers were made possible by a generous donation from Alabama-native Lewis Manderson and his wife, Faye, and various MedShare product donors.

The Alabama Association of Volunteer Fire Departments (AAVFD) works to assist the nearly 1,200 volunteer fire departments throughout the state. An enormous amount of their supply inventory was exhausted from the storms and the following relief efforts, and donations were desperately needed. Catholic Charities USA contacted the Catholic Health Association (CHA) regarding the AAVFD’s needs. CHA, a MedShare partner, connected the two organizations.

“The amazing generosity of the Manderson’s, MedShare, and Catholic Charities will help in Alabama’s continuing recovery from the April storms. It isn’t often that first responders have to ask for help, but many fire departments will be able to continue serving their communities due to the kindness of these individuals and organizations,” said Allan Rice, Executive Director of Alabama Fire College.

The AFC worked with the AAVFD and the Alabama Association of Rescue Squads to identify emergency agencies that were destroyed or that used excessive quantities of medical supplies during the tornadoes. The AFC is warehousing the donated supplies and is distributing them to the affected agencies using their vehicles and Regional Staff members.

“MedShare is an organization that typically only ships containers of humanitarian aid to needy hospitals and clinics throughout the developing world,” said A.B. Short, MedShare’s CEO and Co-founder. “Occasionally, however, we do respond to natural disasters and domestic local needs. Our nimbleness, flexibly, infrastructure and great relationships in the medical community make this possible, and we felt it our duty to assist when called upon by our neighbors for help.”