The core of Advance Community’s programs is centered around community 100% of the time, and as such we must adapt as community needs change. This not only applies to Advance’s health education classes or surgical trips but the medical supply donation program as well.
Advance acts as a bridge between individuals and clinics across the United States to hospitals in need in low-income countries since 2002, delivering shipments of medical supplies and equipment. In many cases, these supplies have supplemented the free surgical care offered by our volunteer surgical teams. In recent years, our medical supply donations have primarily been received by our Nicaraguan partner, AVODEC, to support primary and surgical care for rural families.
A History of Impact
In fact, since 2009 Advance has sent $31,051,368 worth of donated medical supplies and equipment to AVODEC to supplement local hospitals and surgical service trips and the impact has been great. Advance is accustomed to adapting to community needs which means there are also times when we need to enact changes in internal regulations and protocols. Therefore, we are taking this opportunity to update and share some insights regarding medical supply donation guidelines.
At Advance we train staff, volunteers, and interns to ask themselves one important question when discerning whether an item is in acceptable condition or not: “would I use this item for myself or my family?” If the answer is “no”, then we don’t keep the item because the recipients of our donated medical supplies deserve dignified goods as well. It is critical that Advance’s donation guidelines align with our organizational values, including compassion and integrity, therefore we do our best to respect people’s dignity by only accepting items that our communities need that are also in good condition.
Integrity in Medical Supply Donations
If you are considering donating medical supplies and equipment to Advance, please consider the following tips to help us maintain the dignity of our medical supply recipients:
- Ask yourself “would I use this item for myself or my family?”
- Consider disposing of items that are more than 2 years past their expiration date
- Double check equipment is still functional and includes all necessary accessories
- Refrain from including liquids, medications, or other edible products with your donation
- Review your donated items to ensure they are clean, complete, and functional