Atlanta Gabonese Association Volunteer Video

We recently hosted the Atlanta Gabonese Association as volunteers in our Decatur, GA warehouse. The energetic group had a great time, and we so appreciate the time they gave to sort medical supplies!

Below is a video the group posted on their YouTube page- take a few moments to watch, and enjoy!

To sign up for a volunteer session in either our San Leandro or Decatur warehouse, click here.

Repost: ASP Technical Service Associates Show They Care at MedShare Volunteer Event


A group of 31 ASP Technical Service Associates recently volunteered at MedShare in Atlanta. They had a great time, and wrote a wonderful article about their experience that we wanted to share with you.

ASP Technical Service Associates Show They Care at MedShare Volunteer Event

A group of 31 ASP Technical Service associates recently spent an afternoon making a difference with an impactful community service project in Atlanta.

The group volunteered at MedShare, a nonprofit organization dedicated to redistributing surplus medical supplies and equipment to underserved healthcare facilities in developing countries — helping to improve healthcare while reducing environmental waste. MedShare’s shipments of medical necessities bring healing and the promise of better lives to 86 countries and countless patients around the world.

The ASP team’s volunteer activities included unpacking, sorting and re-boxing supplies for shipment. Kerri Comstock, ASP Manager of Service Training & Education, said, “In just three hours, our Field Service Engineers processed the equivalent of half of a 40-foot shipping container, or approximately 500 boxes/6,000 pounds of medical supplies!”

Here’s what some of our Field Service Engineers had to say about the experience:

  • “It is amazing how much we got done and the incredible impact this will have on those in need … makes me feel great!”
  • “We worked really hard and it was well worth it. Hard to believe we helped prepare so many supplies in just a few short hours!”
  • “This is one of the reasons I love working for ASP and Johnson & Johnson … we do things to help others.”

Jim Richmond, ASP Director of Worldwide Technical Service, said, “This event was one of those ‘goose-bump moments’ for our team. In what we do both on the job and off the job, we are making a difference in people’s lives around the world. It is a privilege to be part of an organization like ASP.”

To learn more about MedShare, visit www.medshare.org.

What an incredible job they did packing! As Kerri said, their group sorted and packed enough to fill half of a 40-foot container. Not sure what this means? Picture the huge tractor-trailers you see while driving down the interstate; that is a 40-food container. Impressive, right?  Many of the boxes that they prepared were recently included on a shipment to Panama, where they will immediately be put to use in a hospital whose shelves are extremely bare.

We loved having this group, and as we are with all volunteers, we’re incredible thankful for their help in helping us bridge the gap between surplus and need.

40-foot container

Majic 107.5 Visits During National Volunteer Week

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, Atlanta’s Majic 107.5 / 97.5 visited MedShare on Wednesday, April 13. Host Tall Boy learned all about how we bridge the gap between surplus and need by recovering and redistributing medical supplies, and even learned the volunteer ropes!

Listen to the segment here, and view photos from their visit below:

107.5s Tall Boy with MedShares Lindsey Barber

Volunteers sorting medical supplies

MedShares Lindsey Barber with Tall Boy in the volunteer sort room

Volunteers sorting medical supplies

We were pleased to host Atlanta’s R&B station, and thank them for taking the time to help make more Atlantans aware of our mission.

To view more photos, click here.

Patch.com: MedShare Makes Cutting-Edge Changes Globally and Locally

MedShare’s Western Region was featured in a a great article on Patch.com, and we wanted to share it here.

Patch.com is a community-specific news and information platform dedicated to providing comprehensive and trusted local coverage for individual towns and communities, and we were excited to work with their San Leandro branch on this. Enjoy!

MedShare Makes Cutting-Edge Changes Globally and Locally

By Jenna Humphreys

Inconspicuous among the business offices and supply warehouses of Alvarado Street, a small organization is making a big difference on a global scale.

MedShare ships basic, badly needed medical equipment to countries like Haiti, Ghana and Ecuador. In the process, it keeps hundreds of tons of unused medical equipment out of U.S. landfills.

MedShare's sorting area

MedShare has had a remarkable 12-year life, and the future looks just as promising. The company’s headquarters and its first distribution center opened in Atlanta, Georgia in 1998, and its second distribution center has been here in San Leandro for 2½ years. Medshare chose San Leandro for its proximity to the Port of Oakland, as well as the safe location for volunteers.

MedShare is on top of its game: I was contacted within minutes of sending an email, and was in the warehouse for a tour two hours later. The 32,000-square-foot space on Alvarado Street hosts a few modest offices, a volunteer center, and sorting and storage areas.

On the day I visited, the volunteer center was bustling with nursing students filling their community service requirements by sorting kits and supplies. The whole space had a jovial feel as they chatted and took pictures.

MedShare collects unused supplies from 29 hospitals and healthcare clinics in Northern California, including Kaiser, Sutter Health, and Catholic Healthcare West. Donated items include sutures, gloves, gauze, syringes and much more.

When supplies arrive at the Alvarado site, they go through a multi-step sorting process that results in about 50 categories. The supplies are then packaged and listed on MedShare’s online inventory site, where needy foreign hospitals and traveling medical teams can “shop” for supplies.

MedShare never ships expired goods. It also doesn’t process pharmaceuticals, but can provide information about companies that do.

MedShare has sent supplies to 85 countries, either directly to hospitals or through visiting medical teams. They have also provided $80,000 worth of supplies to 12 free health clinics in California, including the Davis Street Family Resource Center.

Chuck Haupt, Executive Director of MedShare’s western region, walked me through the impressive warehouse. Small cardboard boxes lined the 30-foot high shelves, each box containing a very specific type of supply, for example sterile, non-powdered surgical gloves, size seven.

As we walked through the aisles, the energy-saving motion sensor lights followed us. Haupt said this “leveraging [of] technology to be one of the most efficient organizations in the U.S.,” is just one way MedShare continues to be cutting edge, on both the humanitarian and the environmental front.

Last December, MedShare was recognized by CalRecycle, the state’s recycling authority, with one of its 2010 Waste Reduction Awards. The organization diverted 169 tons of surplus medical supplies last year that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill, Haupt said in a news release after winning the award.

The award was MedShare’s second from the agency. MedShare has also won numerous awards for its nonprofit work.

MedShare warehouse with donated medical equipment

Besides boxes of supplies, the organization’s warehouse has collections of portable ultrasound machines, EKG equipment and exam tables waiting for deployment. On my visit, we met one of the nine site staff members, the operations manager, who was pulling inventoried supplies from the shelves as part of a shipment that was leaving for Peru in a few days.

Even more impressive to me than the sheer volume of material moving through MedShare’s warehouse was the organization’s effort to help volunteers understand the difference they’re making, both for the people receiving medical aid, and the environment.

Haupt showed me a model clinic set up in the volunteer area that gives a tangible sense of what medical care is like in many parts of the world. Gloves and gauze hung from strings and nails, demonstrating the often-necessary practice of reusing such supplies.

MedShare’s donation multiplying magic

MedShare runs on donations and volunteer power. It currently receives no government aid, although private funders like Google have backed its work enthusiastically.

Medshare keeps its costs low and multiplies the donations it gets. According to Haupt, the nonprofit turns every $1 donation into over $7 of medical supplies provided abroad.

Many individuals, especially retirees, volunteer with MedShare, as well as groups from high schools, colleges and companies like Chevron, Cisco, Wells Fargo and Kaiser Permanente.

Volunteers can sign up online for one of two shifts: 9:00 a.m. – noon or 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Special sessions can also be scheduled for companies and large groups.

Toward the end of my tour, Haupt brought me to a display of pictures showing medical missions working in poor countries and disaster areas around the world.

Pointing to a photo of one middle-aged man with a large benign tumor on his neck, Haupt talked about the man’s life of ridicule, growing up as “that boy” who was different. The man’s tumor was surgically removed with supplies provided by MedShare, and he regained his dignity.

A human story found in a big idea makes it all tangible and meaningful. After hearing it, I signed up for a volunteer shift this month.

Despite the ample recognition MedShare has received for being a good volunteer organization and an eco-friendly nonprofit, Haupt still feels like MedShare is a “secret” and that not many locals know about the work it does.

Help get the secret out. One three-hour shift can give dignity and health back to someone in the world who needs and deserves it.

You can connect with Medshare through Facebook, Twitter and the organization’s blog. You can also view its work on Youtube, and flip through photos on its Flickr account.

Thanks to Jenna Humphreys for the wonderful article! Be sure to check out your local Patch.com site for great local news, and follow them on Twitter.