Every year, hospitals in the United States generate over two million tons of medical waste. Millions of dollars’ worth of medical equipment ends up in American landfills while countries across the world suffer shortages. MedShare, a nonprofit organization, takes those unused medical supplies and saves them from going to waste, by sorting and sending them to countries in need. The equipment saved by MedShare’s efforts includes everyday items like syringes and IV tubes, but it also includes heavy equipment such as baby warmers and hospital beds. Every item saved by MedShare can help benefit medical facilities in developing countries and save lives around the world.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon in March, EBSCO Research sent a group of volunteers to MedShare’s Decatur, Georgia, location to help sort and package incoming medical supplies from manufacturers and hospitals. Our group was given a tour of the facility, and then we got to work. By the end of our engagement, we’d packed 102 boxes, saving 794 pounds of medical supplies from the landfill. We had a great time, and before we left, the coordinators at the facility made sure to let us know that our work would directly impact supplies in Cameroon, Ghana, Guatemala, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania.

MedShare currently has three locations in the United States. In addition to their headquarters in Decatur, Georgia, they can also be found in the San Francisco Bay Area and Secaucus, New Jersey. They rely heavily on volunteer help to get medical supplies sorted and packaged. If you would like to research volunteer opportunities for your organization, please visit medshare.org to find out more.