In March 2012 I co-led a group of 25 volunteers to the Dominican Republic. In addition to medical clinics we conducted construction projects, children's programs, evangelism and (for the first time) dental services! Every time I've traveled abroad for mission work Global Links has miraculously met our requests for supplies. The year prior we had a request for an X-ray light box and sure enough they found one for us to take!! This past year Global Links provided us nebulizers & supplies. Because of the poor living condition we frequently run into people with breathing problems. Yearly we provide a medical clinic for a local prison. The prisoners sleep on dirt or cement floor with no blankets or mattresses unless provided by family. Many of them have breathing problems that are worsened by their living conditions. Multiple families have benefited this year from the breathing treatments we were able to provide. One prisoner who has chronic asthma received much relief when we showed up with our nebulizer. Thanks to Global Links ongoing support we were able to leave 2 nebulizers with supplies at the prison for use as needed by the inmates. This past year we were able to provide medical services to over 1000 men, women and children over 4 clinic days. Thanks again to our friends from Global Links!! Steel City Mission Group
Although my experience as a volunteer advisor & Board member with Global Links goes back 2 decades, perhaps it will provide some long-term perspective on the organization. In the early 1990's, I was an emergency physician based in Pittsburgh, but with a strong interest in global health (seeing patients, doing disaster work or conducting research in settings as diverse as Nepal, the Marshall Islands, Central America & the South Pole). Kathleen & her co-founder Brenda brought tremendous passion & dedication to their mission, working nights & weekends to build a network of hospitals & clinics who could donate equipment & supplies, to coordinate the complex logistics of delivering the donations around the world, & to monitor & evaluate accountability & effectiveness of the recipient organizations. They led by example & inspired a team of (almost!) equally hardworking staff & volunteers - a really impressive example of executing on an idea to make an important difference in the world.
Global Links is an Organization that, with a simple formula, is solving complex life threatening challenges in developing countries mainly in Latin America and the Caribbean. I have had the experience of seeing medical facilities and meeting patients similar to the ones Global Links is benefiting with their work, and it is hard to believe that such situations still exist when the scarce resources needed in those places are abundant in other parts of the world. This is exactly what Global Links mends and how it adds value as an innovative organization.
I believe that the supplies being provided and the tailored way in which is being done by GL, are solving real problems and many lives. I am impressed with the passion of the staff and hundreds of volunteers that, without knowing these patients or doctors in far away countries, understand the importance of their work and show enormous respect for them by providing top quality materials that meet the highest standards.
I strongly believe that Global Links is a serious, pioneering and passion-driven Organization that is changing the lives of many human beings.
I am a Board Member for Global Links and also a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School for Public and International Affairs. Part of the course work for my master's program focuses on accountability in responsible public leadership. Global Links exemplifies this principle, in the process they use to donate medical supplies to Latin American hospitals. The Global Links program officers work with their Latin American counterparts to ensure that the Latin American hospitals only receive medical supplies that they can use. By doing this, the organization responsibly ensures that the supplies sent will be used by the hospitals in need, and not discarded in Latin American landfills.
I have been involved with Global Links for over 20 years. I have seen the organization grow from a dream to be one of the best run nonprofits. Its duel mission - to reduce medical surplus in the United States and put that surplus to productive use in developing countries - was unique. Now, although there are others in the field, the attention to detail is what separates Global Links. Every recipient's particular needs are carefully considered and fulfilled with useful surplus. If a particular piece of equipment, for example, requires electricity and the recipient clinic is in an area with repeated outages, Global Links will find generators or try to find backups that can be useful when there is no electricity. The people who work with Global Links are literally infected with joy in the job, hope for a better future and caring for their community.
I was initially attracted to Global Links through their work in the Dominican Republic. About four years ago, I joined the staff of Global Links but had to resign because of a family illness. Later I was invited to join the board and have served in that capacity for three years. So I have an intimate knowledge of the organization from three different perspectives. Some unique strengths i see in Global Links are: a visionary executive director, a dedicated and talented staff, a clear mission, an efficient use of time and resources, and strong relationships with host countries. These are but a few of the reasons that Global Links is able to exceed its goals every year.
Global Links is one of the best run and most respected nonprofits in our region. By reburbishing used medical equipment, it both improves medical care in the developing world and protects our environment locally by recycling this equipment and keeping it out of landfills. I'm proud to be a part of this organization.
As a board member, I was initially attracted to global links because of its unique mission of addressing the healthcare needs of providers in developing countries through environmental stewardship here in the United States. Now seventeen years later, I continue to be engaged in global links' efforts because of the organization’s incredible progress in building the capacity of hospitals and clinics in Latin America and the Caribbean through evermore efficient and effective recovery and recycling of surplus medical supplies and equipment.
Since being on the Board, Global Links has shipped around 80 containers of medical supplies (all re-claimed from healthcare facilities here) to 9 Latin American & Caribbean countries, keeping our environment clean and saving lives at the same time! This is the best charity I've had the honor of being involved with.
I have visited two of our program countries with executive staff to inspect the materials that we sent, and was most imprsssed with the comments of gratitude and admiration for Global Links. I heard great affirmations that we sent only useful materials, and were careful to determine what they really needed. I have attended many events to meet potential donors and personnel with collaborating organizations and have made many valuable contacts for Global Links. In so doing, I was delighted to discover how well our organization is regarded in many circles. I have gotten to know the staff and am very impressed with their idealism and their willingness to do labor--intensive processes in order to ensure that we are sending only usable materials, in the most efficient and effective ways.
I have been on the Board of Directors of Global Links since its inception in 1989 and am amazed at the remarkable progress we have made in the last twenty years. From its modest beginnings with its three young founders, we have grown to a staff of twenty (full time and part time) members, who sent processed and sent 207 tons of medical supplies and equipment to our recipient countries in 2008. A great number of faithful and deeply-motivated volunteers contributed over 6000 hours of service in that same year to help us achieve our goals. I have been especially impressed with the research that our staff members do in order to ensure that the recipient countries are actually able to use everything that we send. I have heard from hospital directors and doctors that they are always confident that, when a shipment arrives from Global Links, every item will be in good shape and fit their immediate needs. I have great hopes that we will be able to achieve even greater success in our future.