Hospitals in the United States generate nearly 6 million TONS in medical waste each year. A large portion of this waste consists of unused and “under-used” medical supplies and equipment.
The World Health Organization estimates that every year more than 6 million children die before their fifth birthday, largely due to inadequate medical care.
What To Do:
Supplies Over Seas is a Louisville, Kentucky-based Medical Surplus Recovery Organization (MSRO), one of just fifteen organizations of its kind across the United States, and the only organization of its type in the immediate region.
As an MSRO, SOS is committed to responsibly recovering, sorting, and distributing unused, leftover, and “under-used” medical supplies and equipment.
Typically once donated materials have been thoroughly sorted, SOS loads those materials into a 40 ft. sea-going container and ships them out to a medically impoverished community. In addition, last year alone we provided more than 120 medical mission teams with the supplies they need in order to treat under-served patients around the world.
The supplies SOS recovers reach communities in-need in the following ways:
For medical relief workers undertaking short-term work abroad, we provide supplies and equipment to be carried as hand luggage. We invite travelers to visit our warehouse and select the items they will need while overseas. A donation of $50 is requested for the first 50 pounds of supplies and equipment. A donation of $2 per pound is requested for any add Hand Carry. More information . . .
For those outside the Louisville area, we ship custom packages. A donation of $100 is requested for dry supplies up to 40 pounds, and a donation of $2 per pound beyond the first 40 pounds. Shipping costs are not included. More information . . .
For groups planning large-scale projects, we offer custom-packed shipments. A donation of $650 per pallet is requested.The initiating organization is responsible for arranging the shipment and paying shipping costs. We welcome representatives to come to the SOS warehouse and select the items they need. We will also pack a shipment based on categories of items requested in writing. More information. . .
We ship sea-going containers of medical supplies and equipment to hospitals and clinics around the world. A 40-foot-long container may hold as many as 26 pallets of supplies. The initiating organization is responsible for arranging shipment and paying shipping costs. We will be happy to provide a list of our current inventory of supplies and equipment so the receiving organization can select the medical equipment and pallets of medical supplies that best meet their needs. The donation requested for a full seagoing container is $12,500. A typical container holds 6 – 8 tons of supplies and equipment conservatively valued at $150,000-$350,000. More information
While our primary mission at SOS is to connect surplus medical supplies and equipment with medically impoverished communities “overseas,” a portion of the materials that SOS recovers are used to support individuals and organizations in our own backyard.
SOS strives to use and/or recycle 95 percent of the materials that we receive. No matter where the donated supplies and equipment, SOS makes a local impact by keeping those items our of our landfills.
SOS support medical education by providing expired materials to healthcare educators, helping to stretch their limited budgets.
SOS supports regional shelters and social service organizations by providing personal hygiene items not appropriate for international distribution.
SOS supports regional animal welfare organizations by providing expired supplies to free and affordable animal welfare groups.
It is now possible to fill out applications and order forms online.