Global Links

Rating: 4.95 stars   300 reviews

Issues: Environment, Health, International

Location: 700 Trumbull Dr. Pittsburgh PA 15205 USA

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.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 52-1629060
412-361-3424
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1997

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my work with the Global Links Board and staff.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase the number of individuals who support this organization to donate the financial support needed to combine their main office operations with the supplies warehouse to improve the efficiency of warehouse operations.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Cuba and Nicaragua where I visited recipient hospitals and clinics and in Pennsylvania, where I have seen medical surplus put to productive use instead of adding to landfills.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do nothing!

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See above.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would double efforts to increase the individual donor base and expand the board to extend our reach into our diverse community.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen the dedication of volunteers who sort, repair and ship the medical equipment. I plan to travels overseas within the next year to see the end result for myself.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish that we were able to do more to provide pharmaceuticals to our recipient countries. Unfortunately, that has become increasingly difficult for a variety of reasons.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

by visiting several hospitals and clinics in Nicaragua which received equipment and supplies from global links and hearing first-hand from healthcare personnel about the difference that our donations had made in these institutions.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find even more ways to engage healthcare providers in the United States in this green humanitarian effort!

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Rating: 5 stars  

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have heard the testimony of doctors who have been able to save lives because of Global Links!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of any changes to this wonderful organization

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my visits to program countries, in my consultations with the staff, in my contacts with collaborating organizations in the U.S.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make a greater number of contacts and raise sufficient funds to accomplish two goals: (1) to find a new space that would include a larger warehouse with sufficient space for our offices within it, which would increase our productivity dramatically.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting and working with our extraordinary staff, people (most of them young) who are very idealistic and committed to working long hours to effect our labor-intensive processes which ensure excellent quality supplies.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

as I mentioned above, extremely idealistic and willing to work long hours to accomplish our effective systems that are very labor-intensive.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

accomplish the two goals I mentioned above: find the new building, and hire several new staff members. With ten million dollars, I estimate that we could increase our productivity from 40 box-car-sixe containers annually to several hundred!

Ways to make it better...

I spoke Spanish, if I could promise to provide even larger shipments to certain countries that admire us (if only I could raise even more funds to increase our productivity.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

finding a building that would house both our warehouse and our offices; and, to raise sufficient funds to hire several more staff members for increased productivity.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am amazed that this organization, founded by 3 young women who originally stored supplies in their own living rooms has grown into a major source of medical materials to 9 countries in Latin America.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

21 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

our work especially in Cuba and Nicaragua. I was very touched by the responses of the medical personnel there and by the fact that they had displayed signs indicating that much of their supplies cam from Global Links.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

run it in much the same way as it has been. "If it's not broke, don't fix it!"

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the idealism of all the staff members and the volunteers.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very idealistic and focused, with fine skills and a willingness to make sacrifices in order to achieve our goals.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

serve probably a hundred or more partner countries with the excellent systems that we have already developed.

Ways to make it better...

I had learned Spanish and was able to speak directly to the personnel rather than through an interpreter.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

quite simply--fund-raising. In today's world, there are so many organizations requesting the help of individuals and foundations that the competition for the philanthropic dollar is intense.

One thing I'd also say is that...

our staff, volunteers and board members seem to enjoy this work and have a great respect for one another. It is a great environment in which to carry out these noble goals.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-3-01

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