Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 19

I tried out a new volunteer opportunity today and enjoyed it, so I will be going back for sure! MedShare is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the environment and healthcare through the efficient recovery and redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment to underserved healthcare facilities in developing countries. Like Global Soap, MedShare takes something (unused medical supplies) that would normally end up in land fills and sends them to places that are in need. The various items come in from local and national hospitals as well as distributors of medical supplies. Hospitals send in their unused surplus items. For example, if you undergo surgery you pay for a whole bag of supplies even if you don't use all those supplies, due to legal issues the hospital has to throw away everything - used and unused. MedShare takes those unused supplies and sends it to clinics and hospitals around the world. Distributors ship supplies to hospitals, but if any of the packaging is damaged they throw out the entire package, even though the contents are all perfectly fine! MedShare takes those perfect supplies as well. Visit their website to learn more

So today I helped by unpacking pallets of supplies, sorting through them and specifically looking at any expiration dates, then packing similar items if there were enough to go in a box or putting them in bins to collect more. It was a lot more work than I thought because I was unfamiliar with the different items, but the staff and long-term volunteers are so helpful! I'm looking forward to going back soon!

A view of half the warehouse - this would all normally end up in a landfill, but MedShare is sending it out to clinics and hospitals in need!

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