By Betsy Dorsey, Warehouse Manager (volunteer)
The American Foundation for Children with AIDS has a warehouse in Lebanon, PA, from where hundreds of volunteers sort, inventory, package and ship medical supplies and equipment to AFCA’s partners in various countries in Africa. This Medical Supply Surplus program helps clinics and hospitals who would otherwise not have the sutures, needles, syringes, beds, wheelchairs, ultrasound machines, etc in order to care for their patients. Thousands of patients benefit from these items! Another benefit from our sending these items is that we are keeping good items out of the landfills.
In order to truly meet needs, AFCA sends an inventory list to the hospitals and the medical directors/logistics people go “shopping”. They select the items they need and the quantity. With the help of volunteers, we ship exactly what is requested so that nothing ends up in a landfill in Africa, either, and so that everything is put to good use quickly.
Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a local youth group for three consecutive days at the AFCA warehouse in Lebanon, PA. I should also mention it happened to coincide with the east coast heat wave and our 100+ year old warehouse is far from air-conditioned. Many things can be said about “today’s youth”, but the group I worked with labored for hours with smiles on their faces. You can’t ask for much more than that.
What impressed me most about these teenagers was their excellent questions. Most were not content to do their tasks without understanding why and how it fit into the big scheme of helping kids in Africa. Prayer was incorporated into the workdays, so menial tasks were transformed into labors of love. Our young volunteers performed many little jobs with great love.
I want to thank the leaders and youth of Lebanon Area Evangelical Free Church and Iglesia El Faro Vacation Bible School for all of the help they provided. I’m amazed at how much work was accomplished.
You truly made a difference in the lives of others.
The warehouse is open from 10am-2pm on the first Saturday of the month. For directions, to confirm that we are open or to schedule a group project, please contact Betsy at BDorsey@AFCAids.org.