Mid-January Container Shipment Announcements
To view December’s Container Shipment Announcements, click here.
To view December’s Container Shipment Announcements, click here.
Here at MedShare, we’ve been busy bees preparing and sending off shipments! In fact, in the last few days of August, we sent 5 containers out. This is amazing in terms of staff efficiency, especially when compared to the fact that in 1999, we shipped only one container the whole year! Even more incredible, of course, is the impact it will have in recipient countries.
Read along to find out where these containers were shipped…
To view all MedShare shipments, click here.
The hospital is one of the largest government run public health institutions in the country, with about 170,000 patients seen annually, a large percentage being indigent populations unable to pay for services. Among the 1,000 supplies on the container were:
We are happy to report that the container arrived safely and was unloaded. Check out these photos they sent us:
MedShare’s volunteers are incredible, and they continually impress us. This morning, they did it again.
Our Southeast Region‘s regular Friday morning volunteers sorted and packed an impressive 102 boxes of Kimberly-Clark donated exam gloves. That’s 35,700 gloves! These will be included on our upcoming shipment to Liberia in early June where they’ll be going to a hospital where they’re desperately needed.
Thanks to our volunteers for their hard work and Kimberly-Clark for the donation!
If you’d like to learn more about volunteering in either our Atlanta or San Leandro warehouse, click here.
On Wednesday, May 11, a 40-foot container carrying donated medical supplies and equipment for the American Nicaraguan Foundation in Managua, Nicaragua was shipped out of MedShare’s West Coast Distribution Center. This is the fifth container that MedShare has shipped to this recipient since 2003.
The American Nicaraguan Foundation (ANF) is a 501 c (3) not-for profit organization rated as a four star charity by Charity Navigator. Their mission is to help the neediest sectors in Nicaragua by strengthening medical assistance, increasing educational attainment, building safe shelters, providing clean water solutions, promoting economic opportunity, and delivery humanitarian aid to impoverished communities all over Nicaragua. For more information and to view an inspirational video about their important humanitarian work, visit the ANF website here.
In Nicaragua, 1 in 2 people live in extreme poverty, 3 in 10 kids are malnourished, and there is 1 doctor for every 2,700 citizens. To say that medical supplies and equipment are lacking there would be an understatement – these items are desperately needed.
The MedShare tractor trailer size container that shipped out today is carrying over 11,000 lbs of medical humanitarian aid items, including:
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!
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 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.
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 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.
Thanks to the generous financial sponsorship of the Kimberly Clark Foundation, MedShare shipped another 40-foot container of medical humanitarian aid for Bolivia yesterday from our Southeastern Regional Distribution Center in Decatur, Georgia.
The medical supplies and equipment on the container are donations for the Hospital Clinico Viedma in the Andean city of Cochabamba. This 200 bed public health institution has been serving Bolivia’s most poor and needy populations for the past 126 years. In his appeal to MedShare and Kimberly Clark for donations, Hospital Director Dr. Eduardo Amaya wrote that 60% of the hospital’s patient population comes from rural and semi-urban areas, 20% are from the city center, and 20% are migrants from around the country’s provinces and rural villages. The hospital also receives patients referred by the police and patients living on the streets and dealing with alcoholism and mental health illnesses. The Bolivian Ministry of Health does its best to provide the hospital with supplies and staff, but due to the high poverty rate, they are constantly lacking critical resources to care for all of these needy patients.
According to the World Health Organization, 61 out of 1,000 children under five die in Bolivia, as compared to 8 out of 1,000 in the United States. Child malnutrition and stunted growth is a chronic problem.
Over 1,000 individual boxes of medical supplies and equipment were shipped to Hospital de Clínicas on the container today, including surgical gloves, crutches, syringes, surgical masks, IV tubing, exam tables, suction pumps, laryngoscopes, pulse oximeters, a ventilator, an electrosurgical unit and more.
We’d like to deeply thank the Kimberly Clark Foundation for sponsoring this humanitarian project, and the Kimberly Clark S.A. corporate office in Bolivia for facilitating the donation to the hospital!