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.”

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