Volunteers Provide Medical Supplies – Knox County VillageSoup

CAMDEN – On a beautiful summer Saturday morning, when many were thinking of going for a swim or ‘yardsaling’, a group of local residents volunteered their time to sort through medical supplies at a warehouse on Mount Battie Street.

Supplies are being directed to places of great need, including war-torn regions such as Ukraine, Syria, Liberia and Mali.

Elizabeth McLellan of Partners for World Health, left, sorts medical supplies in Camden with Anna Rich, centre, and Kate Rich. Kate is a nurse at Pen Bay Medical Center. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

The volunteer effort in Camden began a few years ago when Alison McKellar started collecting supplies for NuDay Syria, to help refugees displaced by war in that country. Now the volunteers are working with Partners for World Health, which was founded by Elizabeth McLellan, a Camden native and nurse.

The donated goods, some of which are still deposited on McKellar’s porch in Camden, go to several countries. The biggest difference in the operation, according to volunteer Angeline Ferris from Camden, is that it now only takes donations of medical supplies, although Beanie Babies are also welcome.

Alison McKellar from Camden moves medical supplies through a warehouse in Mount Battie Street. The supplies will be donated to people in other countries in need. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

McLellan, McKellar and a team of about 10 volunteers worked on Saturday August 20 to sort through medical supplies which included hospital gowns, IV equipment, walkers, wheelchairs, beds and many other items. The supplies will be trucked to Partners for World Health headquarters in Portland and from there delivered to those in need around the world.

Our hospitals and medical facilities often throw away medical supplies that can still be used in other countries, and this organization captures those items and keeps them from being wasted.

The organization has five warehouses in Maine and out-of-state facilities as well.

McLellan said he receives help from as many as 800 volunteers.

She added that medical missions to Bangladesh and Nepal are planned for October and the group still needs a medical oncologist and a gynecological surgical oncologist. Those interested in helping can call 207-774-5555.

The Mount Battie Street warehouse is owned by Michael Mullins. The group said they helped with providing them with space, using a forklift and trash cans.

Wendy Rich from Camden helps sort out donated medical supplies to help people overseas. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

Alison McKellar’s dog, Timber, offers moral support during the sorting party at a warehouse in Camden on Saturday August 20. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

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