On April 8, sixteen SFYAD members volunteered at MedShare’s Western Region Distribution Centre in San Leandro. MedShare is a leading nonprofit charity organization that distributes medical supplies and equipment from hospitals which would otherwise end up in landfill to countries in need. MedShare has delivered medical supplies worth over $150 million to 97 countries since it was founded in 1998. It was ranked 5th by Charity Navigator on their Top Ten Highly Rated Charities Relying on Private Contributions in 2011.
Volunteers arrived at MedShare’s warehouse at around 1:00 pm. After a brief introduction by the staff, the volunteers sorted out the donated medical supplies, which included catheters and medical kits, into appropriately labeled boxes. Expired supplies were then discarded, and the remaining supplies were counted and boxed for delivery. SFYAD completed its goal of sorting and packing within 2.5 hours.
A young volunteer named Katrina found her experience volunteering for MedShare to be interesting and rewarding as it was the first time she had come across an organization that provided something that is so basic and often taken for granted by everyone. She said, “If organizations like MedShare didn’t exist, many more people in third world countries will die due to unsanitary conditions and lack of proper supplies to aid those in need of medical attention. To us, a broken heart monitor may seem useless, but when refurbished it is gold to those who do not have the luxury to buy a new one.”
MedShare addresses the critical issue that over 10 million children in the developing world die every year due to the lack of access to basic healthcare. They do so by working with hospitals, manufacturers and distributors by collecting and redistributing medical products to countries in need. For more information on MedShare and opportunities to volunteer with them, visit www.medshare.org.
Text: Prateek Yadav & Ian Miley; Photos: Kee Heng Tiow
About BLIA SFYAD
BLIA SFYAD (Buddha’s Light International Association – San Francisco Young Adult Division) is a young adult Buddhist group affiliated with Fo Guang Shan, San Bao Temple. We focus on providing a fun atmosphere for young adults (< 35 years) to contribute to the community and learn about Buddhism. We engage with local communities through social services such as volunteering at Food Banks, Homeless Shelter, Nursing Homes, Habitat for Humanity, etc., and also organize buddhist classes, retreats, meditation classes, etc.
No prior buddhist knowledge is required, everyone of any background, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion can join the discussion!
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