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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

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.

Previous Stories

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.