The Intersection of the Local and Global at MedShare

By Sana Rahim, MedShare’s Faiths Act Fellow

Sana Rahim

Contemporary discourse on globalization continues to emphasize increasing interconnectivity between national economies, popular culture, and individuals. While people may never meet in person, through tweets, blog posts, or Skype calls, ideas and information have never been so rapidly communicated and shared.

As we can all attest, this heightened availability of information has made us profoundly aware of global poverty and inequity, and the role we can play in addressing these problems. The idea of helping our local neighbor has now extended to a global family.

Working at MedShare for only 3 weeks- I have repeatedly witnessed the all-encompassing definition of who our neighbor truly is. Volunteers throughout metropolitan Atlanta come to MedShare to sort medical supplies for communities that they may never meet. Although volunteers rarely get to see the face their service has impacted, they feel a very real sense of responsibility and accountability to bridge the gap between surplus and need. While leading tours at MedShare, I often tell volunteers that every medical supply they touch has a life attached to it. The more stories I hear from recipients of MedShare containers, the more I can see the tangible global impact that local communities here in Atlanta are making.

Just today, we received a letter from a Nigerian sponsor who visited the recipient hospitals that MedShare most recently shipped to. It is clear from her account of bare shelves and lack of basic biomedical equipment that the supplies sent from MedShare are meeting a need that is otherwise not being met. Similar to the volunteers at MedShare, the individuals receiving the supplies feel a powerful sense of solidarity with people across the world who have donated their time and effort to send supplies.

I can only imagine how powerful it would be to unite the community at MedShare and the communities all over the world that are connected across lines of ethnicity, language, faith, and nationality in the fight for a more equitable world. Although MedShare is a non-profit based in Decatur, GA – the volunteers and staff are part of a global community that goes far beyond Georgia.

With a community like that, it’s hard to determine where local ends, and global begins.

To read other Tony Blair Faiths Act Fellows blog posts, visit their website here.