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:

MedShare Welcomes Tony Blair Faiths Act Fellows

In early August, we introduced you to our Tony Blair Faiths Act Fellow, Sana Rahim and Clint Fluker. They’re doing an incredible job so far, and we’re enjoying having them!

Our CEO and Co-Founder, A.B. Short, welcomed them on the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s blog, and we wanted to share the post with you. Click here to view, or see below.

MedShare Welcomes Tony Blair Faiths Act Fellows

By: A.B. Short, MedShare CEO & Co-Founder

Faiths Act fellows Sana Rahim and Clint Fluker, joined MedShare in late July. The two not only brought with them a wealth of experience and talent, but also a tangible new energy to our team.

Clint and Sana, MedShare's Faiths Act Fellows

You see, MedShare is aware of the potential to bridge interfaith groups in our community for a greater good, and as such, we’ve been eagerly anticipating their arrival.

To welcome Clint and Sana, we hosted a team breakfast where they had the opportunity to meet everyone. Then, to foster their understanding of how MedShare’s operates, they met with each of our various departments. I especially enjoyed sharing the history, founding, and achievements of MedShare with them.

During their year at MedShare, Clint and Sana will be working with various faith communities in Atlanta to allow those from different faith backgrounds to come together for a common cause: to improve global health.

Clint, Sana and Lindsey Barnett, MedShare's Senior Programs Manager, Sorting Medical Supplies

Their presence here has the potential to double the number of volunteers and, accordingly, our impact worldwide.

MedShare mobilizes community volunteers to sort and box the 20,000 lbs of donated medical supplies that we collect weekly, so you can see why their role is vital to MedShare’s ability to truly bridge the gap between surplus and need.

In addition to leading volunteers, our fellows plan to raise funds for joint container sponsorships, bridging those from various faith backgrounds to send 2,000 boxes of medical supplies to healthcare facilities treating victims of malaria and improving access to healthcare for women and children.

Clint and Sana with A.B. Short, MedShare CEO & Co-Founder

Most importantly, though, Clint and Sana will leave a lasting impact on the MedShare community of staff and volunteers as they lead us in a greater understanding of the way that collaborative faith can be a force for good.

I expect the Faiths Act fellows will pass along invaluable interfaith dialogue skills that we will continue to benefit from and utilize long after the fellowship has ended.

We’re honored to be a host, and happy to have them!

A.B. Short, MedShare’s CEO & Co-Founder

To learn more about medshare go to: http://www.medshare.org/

If you’d like to welcome Sana and Clint to MedShare, you can do so on our Facebook wall or via Twitter: @MedShare, @SanaRahim or @ClintFluker.