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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

161 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned at Global Links in 2012 and had an amazing experience! Global Links motivated me to pursue nonprofit management in Latin America. In the years after my internship, I have remained connected to the mission of Global Links through their strong social media presence. As an Executive Director of a nonprofit serving vulnerable communities in Latin America, I strongly recommend Global Links to grant-making organizations, donors, prospective employees, interns, and volunteers. You will be positively impacted by Global Links in whatever capacity you serve.

1

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!

2

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.

3

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!

5

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!

1

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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12

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at Global Links for a while now, and I can't believe the enormous amount of medical supplies Global Links processes.

It's my very favorite place to volunteer: the joyfulness of the people who work there, the gratitude and sweetness of everyone who works there, the efficient way things are organized, and fun that it all turns out to be.

Amazing!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful homegrown nonprofit which combines hands-on service work with important donations of medical supplies to health programs in developing countries

Michele V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Global Links is AWESOME!!!! They worked very closely with us in trying to get a dental clinic set up and stocked in Honduras. They even had a local dentist come in and help us decide what we needed since we are medical, not dental. They are a wonderful source of supplies and assistance for our medical work in Honduras!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I initially volunteered with Global Links for its healthcare efforts in developing countries. Since then I have found a whole other side to its mission; i.e. environmental stewardship/sustainability. I have also discovered that the staff are essentially committed to this mission (Sharing Surplus/Saving Lives) and live it. The result? A very well run organization that keeps trying to make itself better (less wasteful, more efficient, more collaborative to name just a few traits). Having spent the better part of my 40 year career in either non-profits or government, I recognize the extreme difficulty of paying attention to and developing such things as governance (structure, risk-management, legality, etc) while also pursing a mission. Global Links does this extremely well from what I can see. Example: Over the last year or so, they have consolidated three facilities into one new location -- with their own staff and volunteers -- while also maintaining the work of the organization. They have their values , as well as their heads and hearts and efforts, in the right place.

Allisandra S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was required to do volunteer hours after an alternative spring break trip with my university. We had initially visited global links for educational purposes, but then I decided I wanted to volunteer there as well. I had a fantastic experience learning about the amazing projects Global Links did across the world and talking with other volunteers. I felt so comfortable around all the volunteers and enjoyed talking and working together. I recommend this to all college students who need volunteer hours because it doesn't even feel like work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Global links is a great non-profit! All of the staff really care about what they're doing and making a difference to the hospitals and communities they work with. As a regular volunteer, I really feel like I'm making a difference too!

NCmountainmimi

Donor

Rating: 5

Before I retired from the University of Pittsburgh twelve years ago, I helped recruited staff members to join a small group of volunteers on a regular basis to sort medicals supplies. I moved to NC and have kept in touch via newsletters and emails and watched the growth of this remarkable organization. I regularly make a contribution whenever I can to support their continued success. It is amazing how other states have asked for their assistance and advice in setting up such an organization. I have fond memories of my physical support while living in Pittsburgh. L. Butera

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a University of Pittsburgh retiree(25 yrs. in international depts.) now residing in NC and make a donation when I can afford it. When I lived in Pittsburgh, I regularly volunteered to sort medical supplies with a group organized by Pitt. My experience with global links has always been a positive one and I am happy to see that the organization keeps growing and reaching out to meet as manyinternational clinics and hospitals with the medical supplies that are desperately needed. Even though I can't be active as a volunteer, global links keeps me informed of their current needs and progress. I can't think of an originally grass roots Pgh. group that deserves recognition more. Good luck to future successes

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every year for the past 30 years I have taken a group of undergraduate students from Notre Dame of Maryland University to learn about socio-economic development and to volunteer their services in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala. This year, I heard about Global Links and their ability to supply medicines and medical equipment to people on medical and other missions in the developing world. I contacted them, provided them with information about the 65 bed clinic in San Lucas, which is a part of an integral development project started by Father Greg Schaeffer from the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnessota, and within weeks I had the supplies. I really appreciated the immediate response and the lack of bureaucracy of Global Links. Dr. Tum, the cakchiquel doctor, who was trained in Minnessota, couldn't believe that we, as non-medical volunteers had brought sutures, syringes, needles, gloves to his clinic. Payment for services and medications at the San Lucas Clinic is based on need. Since the average income of patients is between $1,000 and $2,000 a year, most services are provided free of charge. It was particularly significant for our group to have brought the medical donations this year, as Father Greg, the creator of the project, had died only a few months earlier.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My relationship with Global Links started when I attended a fund raising event in December, 2009. I was impressed with the work of this charity in donating medical supplies to developing countries in the Caribbean and Africa. I became a volunteer and donate my time about once a month.
Due to my volunteer work, I was surprised to see the mount of medical supplies discarded in the US that still can be used. Global Links saw the need and collects the excess medical supplies and distribute the materials to under serviced countries. If Global Links didn’t collect these materials, it would end up in landfills. Therefore, I commend Global Links for its charity work in assisting Caribbean and African countries with their medical needs.
I was able to secure a generous donation of medical supplies to Grenada (my homeland) of $111,000 in December of 2011. The donation was based on their needs and included furnishings, equipment, medical supplies and instruments. Global Links did an excellent job and the donated supplies have helped the citizens of Grenada.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have a long standing partnership with the medical department at Kamuzu Central Cemtral Hospital in Malawi, and I coordinate service-learning rotations for medical students and residents in Pittsburgh. We get requests from KCH for medical supply, anything from microscopes, centrifuges, syringes, glucometers and various catheters. Global Links has always been very helpful and responsive to KCH and our needs often clarifying its specific use and making suggestions for alternatives to fit the low resource environment and adapting to users that are also learning the tools. GL always asks for feedback and ready for future trips and challenges. I'm grateful that we have them in our city but I know that distance is NOT a problem for GL! Our group of learners volunteer with GL to sort medical supplies and to transport sutures to other hospitals in Malawi.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was in awe at the amount of medical surplus that we discard in America, that could still be used. I was happy to hear that this charity helps to redistribute these medical supplies to under-serviced communities, so that they do not get dumped in landfills. I really enjoyed learning about all the amazing work this organization has done, and it was an honor to be able to help sort medical supplies that might one day save someone's life! And on top of that, we had a lot of fun too!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I became involved with Global Links when I moved to Pittsburgh about a year ago. I have been extremely pleased with volunteering at this organization! I have had great experiences with all of the staff and fellow volunteers. I love how you can actually see the difference being made each shift. Various items are sorted and packed and by the time you leave you've finished tons of boxes that are all set, just waiting to be shipped to hospitals in need. I also really appreciate their scheduling flexibility! My schedule is constantly changing, never the same each week. When I moved here there were other places I had looked into that required a very set schedule. Global Links has been amazing to accommodate me, which I was very happy with as I really enjoy helping out. It was also great to work with the staff to help set up donations through the hospital I work at. I'm excited that now my unit can help contribute our unused supplies as well!

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.

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.

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!"

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Started out just knowing they distributed surplus medical supplies. Found out about the flip-side (environmental stewardship) later. It only reinforced my respect for a well-run agency. They have staying power as evidenced by the quality of young people they attract -- as staff, volunteers. Will continue to give my support as long into my retirement as I am able. Go Global Links. You Rock!

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5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I wanted to contribute to the work of local non-profits and foundations reaching out to the developing world and responding to disasters. One large foundation did not seem to need/want any volunteers. Not so with Global Links. They welcomed me with open arms and quickly responded to my inquiry. I was able to sort, package and pack donated medical supplies at their office. This was several years ago and I was still working full time. I did not fully realize the scope of Global Links' Mission until the Haiti Earthquake. Since I am now retired I was able to volunteer more often and attend a session on their mission. It was only then that I realized that recycling and assessing environmental impact was almost as essential to their Mission as the Medical Equipment and Supplies they shipped. In fact, I realized that they have a DUAL MISSION: SAVING LIVES BY SALVAGING WHAT OTHERS THROW AWAY. They walk the walk which is obvious by watching how they operate their office and operations. Every possible opportunity for recycling waste is utilized. They incorporate environmental strategy into their assessment of what clinics and hospitals they serve actually need and do not use any "shotgun" approach. Rather it is "surgical" (pun intended) and precise -- to try to fill specific needs. They realize that they lack massive resources to fill great needs. But by only collecting/salvaging the equipment and supplies that are needed and can be used, they are reducing waste on both ends of the transaction. And, saving lives in the process. I will always support this organization. What a simple and productive Mission. And such hard workers

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I first found out about Global Links approximately a year ago. The hospital I work for participates in supply items and supplies to your organization. They also had an inservice for staff and found out that I was able to volunteer. So, I signed up and asked a few friends to join and we gave ourselves a name and started getting involved. What a wonderful idea to collect unwanted hospital items and supplies and gifting them to others in order to live. What a sharing, caring heart to be shared throughtout the world. I hope you can expand to other countries as time goes on. Keep up the good work and God Bless you with continued success.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In volunteering with Global Links you really do feel like you're are directly affecting peoples lives all over the world. The organization goes above and beyond to try and suit the experience of the volunteer to match their experience and ability. Most one time volunteers go in and pack medical supplies, which is a remarkable experience because you literally are providing essential goods for medical clinics abroad. Everything that is packed is typically shipped out quickly, the equipment that is sent could be used by needy medical personnel only a few days later. Personally, I normally work fixing medical devices and wheelchairs. When a device is finished, the feeling of success lingers, as I know that the product I was working on will be in the hands of someone in need within a couple days. Global Links is also one of the most sustainable organizations I have ever worked with. Everything we use is recycled, or re purposed. It is rare when anything goes to waste. Wheel chairs are fixed by ripping apart severely broken wheel chairs and integrating parts into less damaged chairs. We literally are taking products which easily could be in a landfill and redirect their purpose. Most supplies that come into Global Links would have been thrown in the trash if global links had not stepped in and taken them. This is easily the best non-profit humanitarian group I have ever worked with, in terms of sustainability, effort in recycling, overall competency, and importance of volunteering. Global Links should be considered as a model for other non-profits around the world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I gather with a few friends for a few hours once a month to sort medical supplies and pack them into cartons for mailing to countries where they are desperately needed. I imagine someone opening the box and finding exactly what was needed at that particular moment, and it is as if I had actually put that item directly into an outstretched hand.

Tracy20

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Global Links provides volunteers with the opportunity to help sort and package medical supplies to send to developing countries. One of the nice things about Global Links is that they have built a strong rapport with area hospitals and they are able to recycle a lot of material that would otherwise be discarded. It feels really good to know that the waste material is limited and is able to be recirculated to those who would otherwise not have these supplies. Global Links provides their volunteers with publications that show actual relief that is gained by their work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An excellent organization with a dual impact both locally and globally. Efficient use of volunteer time and educational. Quantitative successes that truly change lives.

karensgoldman

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at Global Links is a great experience for me and my whole family. We feel like we're doing somehting really important and that even our teenagers can help with. Volunteers are instrumental in achieveing the mission of the organization but also learn a great deal, for example, about health care in the developing world, and the abundance of waste that is not recycled on our own healthcare system.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the global concerns that I feel needs attention is health care. While it is obvious that there are serious inequalities in access to and quality of health care in the United States, the concern I am addressing in this essay is one related to the absolute lack of even the most basic care in developing countries. In the world’s poorest nations, most people do not have access to even the lowest quality hospitals, clinics, providers, supplies, medicines and health care equipment. With all of the amazing advances in technology and research in the developed countries, millions of people die each year of causes that are completely preventable by basic things like clean water, inexpensive vaccines, medicines and simple procedures for care. Obviously, enormous efforts are needed on a geopolitical scale to remedy this.
On the other hand, wealthy countries like the U.S. waste millions of pounds of medical supplies every year. Instruments, supplies, medicines and many other things get thrown away before their usefulness runs out because of rules and regulations, lack of attention to recycling opportunities and sometimes just laziness. My sensitivity to this problem has been heightened since I started working at Global Links, a Pittsburgh-based organization that collects and recycles used and expired medical equipment and supplies. I think that if every city had such a program, we would go a long way to helping developing countries improve medical care. Global Links does wonderful work. Every U.S. city should have a Global Links site.

Bridget H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for many organizations, but Global Links is my favorite because of the great, necessary and far-reaching work that they do. Every day they take medical supplies that otherwise would be tossed away and send them to countries where they are desperately needed. Before Global Links existed, millions of dollars worth of supplies were thrown into the trash. Now these resources are being used to save lives! The staff at Global LInks always has an eye toward utilizing volunteers efficiently. A project is ready to go, a staff member will explain how everything is to be sorted and packed, and we all enjoy seeing how much work we can accomplish in just a few hours. I recommend this organization to anyone looking for meaningful volunteer work.

Bria A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to volunteer at Global Links with interest in their mission. I spent a few months working there and helping to sort medical equipment and supplies that were being sent to those in need. One of the great realizations for me was how much of an effort Global Links puts into their mission to rescue this equipment that would otherwise be sent to the landfill. The millions of pounds of medical supplies and equipment that is rescued and redistributed is life changing to those who are receiving as well as the global impact that is thwarted from the poundage being kept from landfills. Amazing work on so many levels!

Hayavadhan T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For about six years, I have volunteered with Global Links and have found their organization and mission to be something I appreciate and support wholeheartedly. Last summer, I continued my relationship with them through an internship. Global LInks provides their donors and volunteers with the opportunity to feel as though they are making a significant contribution through hands-on volunteer work and regular email updates. I am continually impressed with their ability to integrate issues like global health and environmental responsibility and not look at any one issue independently. Furthermore, their success as a organization for over 20 years is based on their ability to adapt their operations to utilize new technologies and strategies, which is an effort I have been directly involved with.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Global Links for about five years now. I started working with them while I was in high school and was only too happy to have the opportunity to continue to do so when I stayed in Pittsburgh for college. I've found that their mission and vision appeal to a wide variety of people. I have been particularly impressed with their dual commitment to fighting global inequities in health and ensuring the environmental sustainability of their work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The people are very friendly and welcoming to volunteers as they come in the door. When we get in, we start almost immediately. It is nice to see the little review video explaining more in depth what it is Global Links does. It really shows the impact we make as volunteers and makes it apparent how important it is for us to pack and organize supplies.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As volunteers with Global Links my wife and I have had nothing but a positive experience each time we are able be there. They stay true to their mission of " Sharing Surplus,Saving Lives" We are always treated well at each of our sessions and made to feel like we are appreciated. The organization is well managed from the top down and they never forget where they came from. We have seen them grow over the years but have done this with a measured expansion with a nod to doing this in a manner where they carefully calculate the true needs of how they help each request. We are proud to be a very small part of this great organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a sophomore engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh and am vice president of a club called Engineers for Sustainable Medical Development. Our club has similar ideologies as Global Links does so we have teamed up with them. Both of our main goals are to provide sustainable and appropriate medical equipment to developing countries. Global Links has given us weekly volunteer opportunities in their warehouse fixing wheelchairs and other medical equipment. This has allowed us to get some hands on engineering experience. Also, Global Links has teamed up with our club to set up a service study abroad program for students. We will be able to send a couple engineering students to developing countries to help repair medical equipment and also, bring valuable equipment with us. The relationship my club and Global Links has built is invaluable. They have given Pitt students so many opportunities while still helping people in the developing world. I think Global Links should win this award because they help the medical conditions in the developing world in a responsible, green way but also, they help their community in Pittsburgh like giving a college club a chance to make a difference as well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a critical care nurse working in Pittsburgh i have been able to organize, as part of our community service commitment, a number of volunteer efforts wherein critical care nurses work with the GL Team packing medical supplies to send throughout the world to countries where they are needed. These GL folks are focused, well informed and dedicated. doing an extraordinary job unselfishly. My unit and my hospital also contribute medical supplies to this effort.

Charity S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with them to clean off IV poles and once again to organize equipment to be shipped. Both times were pleasant, the staff was helpful, the other volunteers were interesting and nice.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GL is amazing! The volunteer routine of sorting and packing supplies is organized so that no time is wasted. At the end of your 2 hour shift, it is very satisfying to see all the sealed boxes of supplies ready to ship. I also volunteer for Shoulder-to-Shoulder Pittsburgh and GL provides medical supplies for our twice yearly mission trips to Honduras. We count on GL to provide us with supplies we couldn't afford to regularly purchase.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We did a mission trip in March 2012 to the LaCroix Mission in Haiti . A big part of our mission was medical care. Global Links was a great partner in our mission, supplying medical supplies that were greatly needed. Our medical staff saw many patients. Another important element of the mission was teaching and encouraging the Haitian medical staff, and providing supplies for them to work with.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Global Links is an outstanding organization! I volunteer regularly (about once a month, for several years now) with a group from my church. We sort and package surplus medical supplies to be sent to needy areas. They collect used or surplus medical supplies and ship them to hospitals all over the world that lack a lot of basic equipment and common medical and surgical supplies. Most of the work of sorting and packing is done by volunteers. They save things that would normally be discarded and help out doctors and patients with necessary medical equipment and basic supplies. We've sorted suture, gauze bandages, surgical drapes, catheters of all sorts, all kinds of things (it's different each time!) There are even people who refurbish old hospital beds, wheelchairs, etc. I've collected crutches from people on freecycle and taken them in for Global Links, too. It's very moving to see photos and read letters from people who've been helped by these donations.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have witnessed the passion that drives Global Links first hand during my time as a volunteer. It can be heard in the enthusiastic voices of the staff and seen in the dedicated longtime volunteers. It's truly an amazing group of people furthering an amazing cause.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love being able to not only take usable medical supplies out of the wastestream, but make sure they are well sorted and able to be readily used/re-used by partner clients in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is truly conservation at work. Volunteering at Global Links is always rewarding!

Alessandra B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Global Links for some time until 2006 and I have been amazed by it since the beginning.
I liked the seriousness of the working staff and that of my fellow volunteers, I respected the knowledge of the medical consultants and I admired the precision of the job done there.
It is amazing how we can collect life-saving equipments and medicines that we would OTHERWISE THROW AWAY and just redirect them to whom is in need.
But not just somewhere in the world, that it would be good enough already, but to specific and carefully chosen hospital structures where Global Links has trusted people ready to distribute them fairly.
I am looking forward to find the time to go back to volunteer.
The most emotional moment was when I had to pack infants oxygen masks, I couldn't believe that I was so lucky to be the one touching something that would be able to save a little life.
I believe so much in it that even when I stopped volunteering, just for personal reasons, I tried to help in every other way , with donations or just informing people.

socialworker05

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I enjoyed sorting medical supplies while talking with the other volunteers. In the case of the supplies that Global Links sends abroad, one person's trash really is another person's treasure. I did not realize that some hospitals abroad have so few supplies.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i loved volunteering with global links. The staff is very friendly and the work is fun. The fact that all of the supplies that they recover would have been thrown away and placed in a US landfill is sad, but it's great that they have found a system to retrieve the supplies and get them to people that need them!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a health care professional it is my pleasure to share with you what an outstanding job Global Links does in providing medical supplies, and equipment needs to the less fortunate. This organization reduces waste by re-cyling gently used medical furniture, equipment and supplies. Hospital nursing unit donate supplies that could possibly discarded into Global Links collection bins and funnel them to those in need. They are dedicated individuals that lead volunteers such as myself by overseeing our work as we sort and pack badly needed supplies. Global Links supports sustainability in all aspects of their work.

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to speak up for the excellent work of this fine organization.

Janette R. Curran RN BSHCA

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Global links works on both sides of the problem: taking surplus equipment off the hands of the hospital systems and finding a need for it in the developing world. It does this on a shoestring budget with a dedicated and highly competent staff. I have worked with them as a donor, volunteer and beneficiary for my surgical international work in Haiti, Guyana, and Honduras. We have been able to provide care with their help.

The most important reason Global Links deserves this award is that they do an on-site analysis of needs and capabilities. For example, in Haiti they donate beds and chairs, rather than the high tech equipment which requires reliable electricity and service. They know the hospitals and personnel they are donating to. In Cuba, they can donate a mammography center because the clinical resources including personnel can support it.

When I was in Honduras, I saw the opposite too many times. A CT scanner left outside in the courtyard because the donor did not understand that it could not be used. Global Links works from a careful needs assessment to avoid these problems.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Global links collects technically expired, but not obsolete, medical supplies from hospitals and medical providers, and redistributes/donates them to global recipients in need. It is a crucial service that not only provides vital and life-saving supplies to countries and medical providers worldwide, but it also prevents the unnecessary filling of landfills with products which are still usable. The organizers are passionate and dedicated to the purpose and welcome volunteers in an organized and meaningful way.

bennett9999

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great place to volunteer. It's a green way to help the environment and also to help struggling 3rd World hospitals.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This charity does fantastic work in terms of recycling surplus medical supplies that would otherwise go into landfills. But it does SO MUCH MORE! Using volunteers, it sorts and organizes these materials and matches them with the needs of specific hospitals in the world's poorest countries, shipping them off to save lives there.

I am proud to be a volunteer and donor of Global Links.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Gathering medical supplies and packing them in to boxes; how mundane. But every box I helped to pack served in two significant ways:
First, these were items that were discarded. They would have gone to a landfill further scarring our landscape.
Second, these supplies would SAVE LIVES of patients in desperate need in the very poorest countries in the world. Instead of being stitched up with fishing line or even cotton thread, patients would receive appropriate suture, considerably improving their chances of a good outcome. And studies show clearly that when family members survive there is less inclination to have larger families.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have worked with Global Links to assist them with relief efforts for Haiti. They are very professional and responsive and the experience with them has shown them to be attentive stewards of the financial and product support they receive.
Jock Menzies, president, The American Logistics Aid Network

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Global Links for several years. The staff has consistently been friendly, organized and enthusiastic about their wrok. The volunteer contributions are appreciated and necessary for this program to succeed. I will continue to support GLobal Links with my time and work.