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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Health, International, International Development, International Relief, Public Health, Recycling

Mission: Global Links is a medical relief and development organization dedicated to supporting health improvement initiatives in resource-poor communities and promoting environmental stewardship in the US healthcare system. Global Links’ collaborative efforts include: -Redirecting still-useful materials away from US landfills to support public health programs in targeted communities throughout the Western Hemisphere -Sharing expertise and technical knowledge with international and domestic partners -Educating partners, volunteers, and the community on issues of global health and environmental stewardship

Results: Since 1989 Global Links has provided 100 countries with materials worth more than $186 million.

Target demographics: Global Links collaborates with officials, administrators and community leaders to ensure our programs support the work of skilled healthcare professionals and help improve the quality of care for their patients. We work with hospital staff in Western Pennsylvania and beyond to develop sustainable practices for surplus collection and recovery.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Thousands of patients who have access to higher quality medical care as a result of Global Links' strategic partnerships. 50+ healthcare facilities in the US with whom we partner to achieve more environmentally responsible operations.

Geographic areas served: Global Links supports health improvement initiatives in resource-poor communities, primarily in the Western Hemisphere. Global Links collaborates with US healthcare institutions and the community to recover hundreds of tons of high-quality surplus medical materials every year that would otherwise be sent to landfills.

Programs: Global Links’ International Medical Aid Program partners with public health authorities to strengthen health systems for measurable impact in the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Our Community Partners Program supports fellow nonprofit organizations in the US that benefit from our materials and experience. Our Environmental Stewardship in Healthcare Program educates a compassionate network of healthcare professionals who work to share surplus with colleagues in resource-poor communities and provides a socially and environmentally responsible alternative to sending still-useful surplus materials to landfills.

Community Stories

160 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We came from Washington&Jefferson College and had an amazing experience at Global LInks on Friday. My students come from foreign countries and this volunteer opportunity shed light into some of the great things local non-profits do in our area. It also gave them a great point of reference to compare how things are done in their own countries. Thanks Global LInks!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I loved volunteering at Global Links this past Saturday! It was an amazing opportunity that I am extremely glad I took up. Not only was it wonderful to contribute and help those who are less fortunate, I was able to meet new people from different school districts with similar interests in medicine meanwhile sorting medical supplies. Although we were standing and sorting supplies for two hours, I barely noticed it was time to leave until someone mentioned it! I would love to volunteer again with Global Links or any other organizations similar to them with the medical supplies. I had an amazing time there and am looking forward to experiences similar to this in the future.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I want to thank Global Links first for the opportunity to finish my school requirements and then for welcoming us back for a few weeks beyond that, it was fun to volunteer for a good cause, and be part of the great atmosphere they have! I will be trying to resume volunteering with them if I am ever in the area again. If that can't happen, then I just want to make sure they know how enjoyable this was for me and how much I appreciate what they do!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The International Society of Wheelchair Professionals (ISWP) Student Group cleaned and assembled wheelchairs at Global Links. It was such a great learning experience, both about Global Links and the needs of the international community. We had a great time and would love to come back soon!

Volunteer

Rating: 5


Just a quick note about this great organization. It is sobering to realize when small things we take for granted to be there are missing, how they adversely affect people’s lives. Global Links takes surplus medical supplies and gets them to people in need, saving lives. Spending a few hours there every month or so makes a difference! Depending of what you do, it may be the hardest couple of volunteer hours you spend, but will make you feel better about yourself. I’d look into this great organization if you want to help and make a difference!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My company provides volunteer opportunities in the community and I have always enjoyed working at Global Links. It's a great chance to help people with what is considered waste in our world. They have a great team out there and I always feel that what we are doing makes a difference in people's lives. Thanks, Global Links! See you soon!
Trudy Berger

Beth102

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I started volunteering this year at Global Links, and we are so impressed with this operation. It's well run, and the staff is great. They make use of everything that is donated.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am both a volunteer and donor to this organization. As a volunteer coordinator for my congregation, Global Links has accommodated our request for bringing children in to learn about Global Links work but also to contribute to making a difference all the way to bringing in my adult team. We are a small congregation and have found that Global Links has also been a good fit for our on-going donations. We have women who sew and those who are on the look out for even 1 pr. of crutches to unused medical home health supplies. We are learning to be good stewards and reach around the globe to our brothers and sisters. Whether it is inquiring or arranging for a donation to scheduling a volunteer activity, they are always courteous and a real joy to connect with.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about Global Links. This organization not only saves lives but also the environment while doing so. They carefully assess the medical needs of people in developing or disadvantaged countries or disaster areas and then work closely with local hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities to gather excess medical supplies that would otherwise end up in our landfill. Through the help of volunteers like me, they sort, separate, pack, and ship the appropriate materials where they are needed the most, such as small clinics or areas hit by natural disasters.

One of the things I love the most about Global Links is that they post pictures, videos and newsletters that show the people we help using the materials we've sent them. The things we take for granted here, such as an IV pole or crutches, can mean the difference between disability or self-sufficiency, life or death. We can see the benefit of our work and we know that every little thing we do and item we send is truly making a positive impact on people.

In my eyes, there is no more worthy cause or feeling of gratification than that of volunteering with this amazing organization!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at Global Links for almost ten years, after going to volunteer with a group of friends. I now go twice a week, and help sort donated supplies and organize and pack outgoing boxes of supplies. It is very rewarding because you know you are both helping people in the developing world--and in a real way, with deliveries to actual small hospitals visited by Global Links staff. Nothing sits on a dock where it is stolen. Also, you are helping to keep medical supplies out of Pittsburgh landfills, where all these supplies were going to end up until Global Links founder Kathleen Hower thought of this ingenious idea. I have met wonderful people volunteering there, and have formed friendships with other volunteers who go when I do and staff.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Global Links is the most successful nonprofit organization around. With a small staff and very low overhead, they recycle medical supplies from hospitals (which would have thrown these supplies out) and send them to specific partner hospitals (mostly in Latin America) which are desperate for basic medical equipment, including beds and sheets! Directed by talented staff members, volunteers do all the sorting and repacking of supplies for shipment, each day and many evenings.