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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Global Links

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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

307 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

AliMed had a large inventory of surplus surgical insturments, and orthopedic products. We contacted Angela Garcial and sent the lists of the products for review. Global links quickly responded to our extensive list and has been very resposive to additonal lists of products.They are easy to do business with and understands the business side of our operation. It is very satisfying know the products we donate will be used to help others throughout the world.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I first learned about medical supply recovery in the Fall of 2010 and then began researching other organizations involved in this effort. I currently volunteer with MEDworld at UNC and REMEDY at Duke, which are much smaller, hospital-based nonprofits in North Carolina doing similar work to GL. As helpful and inspiring as those programs are, however, I often find myself comparing them to Global Links, which I consider a model organization. Global Links' reach goes far beyond one hospital's surplus -- they collect usable medical supplies and equipment from many different sources in numerous states. Their dedication to making sure that the collected supplies go to areas in most need and where they will be most useful is impressive. I visited Global Links' offices in October of 2011 and found their staff very personable, helpful, and knowledgeable. They patiently answered my questions about their organization and explained the many ways it is possible to support their efforts such as through their suture and nebulizer donation programs. I have contacted the staff since that visit and plan to use them as a resource again in the future. CEO and co-founder Kathleen Hower generously gave of her time to discuss many of the issues I am interested in regarding expanding medical supply recovery efforts in the Research Triangle area of NC. I also find the Global Links website to be very helpful, up-to-date, and informative. Global Links makes a huge difference in the lives of many people around the world with their medical surplus; its involvement and outreach in the greater Pittsburgh area in other environmental and humanitarian issues is equally inspiring. I am a proud supporter of Global Links.

Michelle65

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first got involved with Global Links as a member of a graduate student group that wanted to do something for the local community. Global Links has been able to accommodate our busy schedules, staying open late so that we can still volunteer and help their cause. They make every effort to reduce waste and save energy, and have really pushed us to be aware of excess of resources in our community. There is a lot of "waste" in medical research that can be put to a better cause, so they have made us students much more conscientious in our work life as well.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I initially began working with Global Links in 2005, as a medical student working in subsaharan Africa for a year. Global Links provided suture as well as requested medical equipment for a maternity hospital that badly needed supplies. Over the years, GL has continued to provide professional, timely, and much-needed care to this facility. They always seek feed-back from the clinicians working abroad and only provide that which is requested. I can honestly say the donations they have coordinated have saved countless numbers of women's lives. I have only had positive experiences working with this organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer in Nicaragua where health supplies are direly needed. As a Global Llinks client for the past 15 years, I am pleased to recall that my many requests for needed donations have always been filled immediately and with great care. The staff is well aware of my particular work and many times will add extra supplies that they feel can be used here. Their personal interest in my work is refreshing and greatly appreciated. Submitted by Donna Tabor, Building New Hope, Nicaragua

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 3

Coming from a country where many necessary things for health are difficult to find for most of the population, and having a firsthand experience of how these same things are disposed in USA, I support the labor of Global Links in making available these resources to those who need and can use them. Most of the time the problem is the collection and transportation of the resources to the specific areas where they are needed. The labor of Global Links provides this needed "link" to the benefit of the people receiving the resources, and to the people of USA avoiding the pile-up of dis-carted items in our communities.

Deborah25

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is an exceptional example of reaching out to those who have so little in material things but so much appreciation to offer. The needs of undeveloped nations is great and Global Links puts us in contact with those who face unbelievable hardships in terms of their health and their every day struggles to survive. What our hospitals call trash becomes a lifeline to those in need.

Patricia29

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The people at Global Links are very thoughtful. Before becoming a volunteer, they give a nice tour of the place and explain their "business." Only good things to say about them!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered and also am a consuder of the medical equipment sent to a project overseas that I work with in Central America. GL has people in the field and an approach that is not about influence or simply contacts in country. They aim for sustainable support to entities that are working hard in that direction. Bridging the gap between public/governmental agencies and NGO's, they aim to strengthen health systems. Generally, I think they do just that. All the while, we are saving waste and using appropriate equipment until it's time is done.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Global Links is a wonderful non-profit organization that is very conscious of the environment. Nothing goes to waste there including the medical supplies that are packed for the third world countries. I have been volunteering there for several years and it is such a wonderful, successful, and extremely well-organized organization. I give it a 5 star recommendation. I come every two months on a Sat. with my church group and the second Tuesday of every month with friends. Everyone who volunteers here is so impressed with the mission of this group. It is amazing how much we accomplish when we are there.

Barbara57

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Global Links through my son and a friend ( Global Links employee) who had served together in the Peace Corps in El Salvador. As a newly retired nurse/hospital administrator, they wanted me to serve in the Peace Corps, but I was not ready yet to venture that far in focus or foreign lands! Through Global Links, I was able to get involved in redirecting unused, but still good resources to improve the quality of healthcare in other countries, all while reducing waste in my own country, values/goals important to me. I have now become regularly involved in case packing supplies, recruiting new volunteers on college campuses and encouraging the nurses in home care organizations to donate unused supplies. The appreciation they consistently demonstrate for their volunteers is exceptional and the effort to redirect, repurpose or reuse every donated item that comes their way is phenomenal. Global Links is my "commitment to caring" in retirement and I love it and the people I have met since joining this effort!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I think Global Links is a wonderful place. The work they do is amazing. Their warehouse is full of perfectly good hospital equipment which would end up in a landfill somewhere if global Links didn't recycle , package and ship to clinics and hospitals in South America. It's a shame what we waste and Global Links is doing a terrific job of making use of perfectly good merchindise that would otherwise be discarded. I love volunteering for them , helping to sort and package items. The people are friendly and very compitent.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The dedicated staff and volunteers at Global Links do life-saving work. By collecting and sending perfectly usable but unneeded medical equipment, supplies, and furnishings from U.S. hospitals to under-resourced hospitals and clinics in developing countries, Global Links puts to good use what would otherwise be discarded.

Donor

Rating: 5

When I turned 13, I decided to raise money for a non-profit. I choose Global LInks because I had heard it was a great organization and I thought that what they were doing was critical to the world. I ended up raising 1,600 dollars for the organization, and I am so glad i did. During the whole process, the Global Links people helped me, included me, and over all made me feel very welcome and appreciated. I would do it again in a heart beat. It's a great organization with great people in it.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My mom first told me about Global Links, and from the start I was intrigued. I decided to raise money for the organization for my 13th birthday, and preceded to raise over a thousand dollars for Global Links. After I had volunteered there and got a sense of the amazing community Global Links is, I know I made the right choice. There is no better organization that deserves the money I raised.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Global Links recycles everything that is possible to recycle and has it clearly marked so we volunteers know where to put what!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Global Links is an excellent organization with whom I've personally volunteered and, whenever available, professionally donated surplus medical products. There is ridiculous waste and surplus in the United States, yet dire need in most other parts of the world. Global Links is an extremely well-run, efficient, non-profit, humanitarian organization that truly recognizes this and continues to make a serious difference to best use and re-use for the good of less fortunate others. They also promote a consciousness to recycle and reuse in many other aspects. Anyone spending just one day with them in their very humble building would immediately see, feel and appreciate the spanse of their work! They are "life savers!"

Advisor

Rating: 5

Global Links starts with a great model: take still-useful things from a place where they might have trouble getting used and share them in places where they can save lives. One of the distinguishing factors about their model is their attention to the needs of recipient facilities in recipient countries. For this organization, keeping useful things out of the landfill only starts the process; making sure there's a home for it where it will be used completes the circle. They make great use of volunteers on both a one-off and on-going basis.

Rick K.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

They are outstanding in everything area of their work. They have a gret group of people helping to make them a success.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love donating to Global Links. I think that they take "recycling" to a whole new level. I love the idea that nothing that can be used should go to waste and I think that is what they are really all about. I also realize that they do their work with the utmost saftey in mind for the people who receive the medical goods that Global Links acquires. This is a non-profit at it's best.

Donor

Rating: 5

Global Links gives each of us an opportunity to reach out to people all over the world who are in need of medical help. Anytime I have had someone close who has been ill and then no longer needs whatever supplies they were using I make sure those supplies are given to Global Links. Then I know that another person will have the chance to get well, be comfortable, and heal. Personally, I have given crutches, nebulizers, bandages. It makes no sense to put these things to the curb for trash pick up when Global Links will get then to people who will truly benefit by having access to them. When I see something about GlobalLinks, I pause and think, "Thrigh them, I have helped others. It is a beautiful organization.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Hi, A number of years ago, my Mother needed to use oxygen daily. When she passed away, there was so much of the unused plastic tubing and other breathing related equipment left. For a moment, I didn't know what to do with it. Then I remembered Global Links and how they help people everywhere by passing on our usable medical supplies and equipment. The people at Global Links were sincerely grateful for the donation and I felt really happy that rather than tossing it away, someone, somewhere would have the chance to better health. It was my opportunity to help others on a bigger scale. It was definately a feel good thing! I encourage people to think twice about throwing medical supplies away when the need is so great.