Kenya Trip Notes from the Field: Sandy Tytel

By Sandy Tytel, Chair, MedShare New York Regional Council

My name is Sandy Tytel, and I currently serve as a member of MedShare’s North East Regional Council. My daughter Jennifer is also involved with MedShare and is planning a Young Professionals Fundraising Event in NYC. We woke up this morning in Nairobi after 22 hours of traveling, filled with so much excitement and adrenaline. We couldn’t wait to start our day and adventure. While tomorrow is dedicated to meeting our Kenyan health care partners—more of a real roll up your sleeves work kind of day–today is more about getting acquainted with one another. Many of us have never met before. Ginny, Laureen, Jennifer and I represent the New York Region. Angie, Meredith, Pat, Lindsay, Charlie, Tom, A.B., Tina and Terry represent Atlanta. Ed, from Missouri works for Catholic Healthcare and Bob and Liz are from San Francisco. Following a relaxing and delicious buffet breakfast at the hotel, our group was on its way.  First stop, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust—an elephant orphanage in Nairobi. All I can say is WOW. This place is so impressive and inspiring. We met 16 rescued orphaned elephants ranging from 3 months to 34 months of age who arrived at the Nursery in mourning and traumatized by the events that caused the separation from their mothers. These calves are fed, loved and cared for until they are ready to be released back into the wild. The humanity demonstrated by the elephant keepers was awe-inspiring. The keepers truly become parents to the orphaned elephants and stay with them up until they are fully comfortable in their new wild environment.

The experience at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was not only educational, moving and emotional, but also a wonderful start to what we know will be an amazing trip. The elephant orphanage was a wonderful introduction to Kenya, its landscape and unique wildlife as well as to each other. Can’t wait until tomorrow!

Angie Fife Engelberger, MedShare Southeastern Council Member

Baby Elephant

Elephant at the David Sheldrick WIldlife Trust

This post is part of a series we’re doing over the coming days while MedShare staff and Board of Trustee members travel through Kenya from February 17 – 27. We invite you to share the experience with them by reading their stories; to access them, click on the “Africa Trip“  icon in the right sidebar. Safe travels, team!


The Stitch Project: World Malaria Day Art Auction Official Promo

MedShare’s Faiths Act Fellows’ World Malaria Day Art Auction is fast approaching. Want to learn more? Watch their official promo video below.

Since 1998, MedShare has diverted $100 million+ worth of supplies and equipment to prevent more than 2 million cubic feet of valuable supplies from entering local landfills. However, occasionally there are supplies that can simply no longer be used. Rather than dispose of these materials, MedShare has donated these supplies as canvases for innovative artists. 

Using the surplus medical supplies, artists will have the opportunity to create works of art concerning the themes of diversity, unity, and common action. In this way, even the supplies that will no longer help save a life directly can be used indirectly to fight malaria. The recycled materials will be offered to artists as a canvas for art that will thematically address the humanitarian crisis of malaria. Artists will have the challenging and inspiring task of creating art that tackles the question of how faith and spirituality can forge a better world. This will be a unique opportunity for artists to gain international traction and diversify their portfolio.

For more information, or to find out how you can get involved, visit their website or contact Clint Fluker ( or Sana Rahim (

World Malaria Day Art Auction: Artist Interviews

Last week, we told you about MedShare’s Faiths Act Fellows  upcoming World Malaria Day Art Auction. We shared photos of local artists who gathered at MedShare’s Headquarters to create a work of art entirely from unused medical supplies.

Now, we want to share a video of the undertaking, and also interviews with all the artists (Brian Walker, Brian Hebert, Baba Ra Fudge, Masud Olufani, and Kottavei Williams) who participated.







The auction will take place on April 25, 2012. Local Atlanta artists to take part in this momentous endeavor include: Brian WalkerAlfred ContehCurtis McHardyMasud Olufani, Chris Hutchinson, Paul Benjamin, Hailey Lowe, Stephen Hayes, Whitney White, Audrey Pollock, Dana Gray, Brian Hebert,Baba Ra Fudge, and Kottavei Williams. Other artists submitting orignal and printed pieces to the auction include: Jim FiscusJoey Fischer, Brenda Ball, Clint Fluker, and Kevin Cole. More details can be found here.

Making Art from Surplus Medical Supplies

You may know that MedShare is hosting two Faiths Act Fellows from The Tony Blair Faith Foundation, but did you know that they’re planning a World Malaria Day Art Auction?

The auction will take place on April 25, 2012. Local Atlanta artists to take part in this momentous endeavor include: Brian WalkerAlfred ContehCurtis McHardyMasud Olufani, Chris Hutchinson, Paul Benjamin, Hailey Lowe, Stephen Hayes, Whitney White, Audrey Pollock, Dana Gray, Brian Hebert,Baba Ra Fudge, and Kottavei Williams. Other artists submitting orignal and printed pieces to the auction include: Jim FiscusJoey Fischer, Brenda Ball, Clint Fluker, and Kevin Cole. More details can be found here.

In preparation for the art auction, we hosted local artists earlier this week who created a work of art entirely from unused medical supplies. Here are photos of this impressive undertaking:

beginning stages

bottles are amoung the supplies used

Do you see the face coming through?

Another angle

Every 45 seconds, a child dies of malaria.

Finished work of art.

All proceeds from the World Malaria Day Art Auction will go directly towards the shipment of medical supplies to Sierra Leone.

MedShare featured on Groupon for Good! Donate now.

On January 31 – February 2, MedShare is the featured Groupon for Good campaign in the Atlanta and Athens markets. Donate $10 – which will be matched by MedShare – to send much needed medical supplies to Nepal. The link is:

G-Team is Groupon’s main philanthropic program designed to help their subscribers discover local causes in their own neighborhoods. In the same way that Groupon deals make it easier for people to discover their cities, G-Team campaigns make it easier for individuals to come together with others to do good, have fun, and make a real impact.

Click through to donate:

MedShare’s reason for participation is two-fold: we will be raising money to help sponsor a container of medical supplies and equipment to Nepal, and we’ll also be raising awareness of MedShare and our mission in Atlanta by utilizing Groupon’s huge subscriber base.

We encourage you to share the link with your friends and family via email, Facebook and Twitter. We need 50 people to buy into this deal @ $10 for MedShare to receive the donations. It will be live through Thursday, February 2nd.

Let’s see if we can make this the most successful Groupon charity campaign ever!

In Haiti, Fate Coincides Arrival of Atlanta Nonprofit’s Medical Shipment with Fatal Wreck

Shortly before midnight in Haiti on Monday, a truck’s brakes failed and it crashed into a small bus, then careened onto the sidewalk of one of Port-au-Prince’s busiest streets. An estimated 29 people were killed and 67 were injured. Fate coincided a same-day arrival of an ocean container of medical supplies and equipment, which will enable many to receive lifesaving treatment.

The oft-undersupplied Port-au-Prince’s Hopital General, where many of the survivors were taken, is able to provide treatment thanks to the Atlanta-based nonprofit MedShare.

“I thank you for the first container which arrived at a perfect time. The First Lady has ordered retrieval of the container immediately. There was a terrible accident in Port-au-Prince on Monday evening … The Hopital General in the city needs a lot of supplies,” says Mona Adam, Nurse, Special Envoy of the First Lady of Haiti, Sophie Martelly.

The ocean container was sent from MedShare, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that recovers and redistributes medical supplies and equipment. The container was sponsored by a metro Atlanta not-for-profit hospital. The container left Atlanta on December 1, 2011 and arrived in Haiti on January 16, 2012.

“The 1,000+ boxes of supplies on this shipment will make a difference to Haitians in their time of emergency,” says Meridith Rentz, CEO of MedShare. “Both before and after the 2010 earthquake, Haiti has held a special place in the heart of our organization, and we are committed to the ongoing strengthening of their healthcare system.”

In the organization’s 14 years, MedShare has shipped a total of 72 ocean containers containing over $8.8 million worth of medical supplies and equipment to Haiti. The most recent container left on January 11, 2012.

Key Surgical® Donates More than 800,000 Masks to MedShare

Key Surgical®, a leading supplier of sterile processing and operating room supplies, has donated more than 800,000 faceshields and protective masks to MedShare, an Atlanta-based non-profit that recovers and redistributes surplus medical supplies and equipment to developing countries in desperate need of these supplies.

“The faceshields and protective masks provided by Key Surgical are destined for a number of developing countries where they will improve the quality of healthcare available,” said Meridith Rentz, CEO and president of MedShare. “We’re grateful to Key Surgical for their partnership in helping us bridge the gap between surplus and need.”

The donation by Key Surgical helps address a critical need in many developing countries. The World Health Organization estimates that millions of people in the developing world die because of inadequate medical care.

MedShare collects surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals, distributors and manufacturers, and redistributes those supplies to qualified healthcare facilities in the developing world. Since the organization was founded in 1998, over $100 million worth of medical supplies and equipment have been sent on more than 750 shipments to 88 countries around the world, saving countless lives and over 2 million cubic feet of space from U.S. landfills.

“We’re proud to be associated with MedShare,” said Brian O’Connell, Chief Operating Officer of Key Surgical. “We believe in their cause and their ability to get our supplies into the hands of those who can do the most good for those in the most need.”

About Key Surgical
Founded in 1988, Key Surgical specializes in supplying hospitals, surgical ambulatory and outpatient centers with a complete line of sterile processing, operating room and clean room supplies that focus on cleaning, protecting, identifying and packaging of surgical instruments. Dedicated to delivering exceptional customer service, Key Surgical offers more than 2,500 medical products worldwide. The company is committed to manufacturing and distributing the highest quality medical products, and to maintaining all applicable ISO and FDA regulatory requirements.