January 19, 2010

MedShare and GO Inspire GO Urges YOU to ACT NOW!

UPDATE: Another aftershock 6.1 hit Haiti today. Amazingly, rescue efforts are continuing and people are still being pulled out of the rubble alive!
Please read and take action!

It’s been just over a week since the 7.0 earthquake rocked the poor island nation of Haiti to its core. As I write, family, friends and strangers carry lifeless bodies to cemeteries where other piles of flesh and bones pile up. There is simply not enough room to bury the dead. On the streets, countless victims bear open wounds. Apocalyptic images and sounds plaster our TV sets and computer screens -- the desperate need for food, water, shelter and proper medical care remain.

It's numbing and amazing to me that some reports
out of Haiti's ground zero -- are stories of hope. I saw an ABC news report about how Haitian communities are banding together to help each other, when they have nothing of their own. One by one, victims are removing blocks of rubble and digging out their loved ones and even strangers from crumbled buildings. Others are using twine and cardboard as makeshift splints to bandage those with broken limbs.

Search and rescue efforts continue... and some communities have nothing to hold onto but their will and songs of hope that are overpowered by the cries of desperation.

I look around my community here in the San Francisco Bay Area and juxtapose the images -- that have been plaguing my mind since the horrific quake -- with the people, thousands of miles away that are moved to act. As the body count continues to rise in Haiti -- it's comforting to know that people at the local non-profit, MedShare.org, are counting surplus supplies that are being packaged and drop-shipped to Haiti.

It is not too late to take action everybody, WE MUST ALL DO SOMETHING NOW to help the people in Haiti. Following the quake, the team at Go Inspire Go immediately sent emails to our community, urging everyone in our global nexus to act – in whatever way they could – by donating money or time to help the people in Haiti who have no shelter, no food, water and proper medical care. I asked everyone to email/comment about how they’re helping the people in Haiti on our GoInspireGo Blog and our Huffington Post Blog. The hope – to inspire people by your actions – to act.

Some of you responded and donated right away to the Red Cross by texting Haiti to 90999 on your cell phones, while others shared links and donated to other reputable companies who will match our donation dollar for dollar.
Several people emailed and commented telling us about MedShare.Org – a non-profit out of Decatur, Georgia and San Leandro, California. For 11 years, MedShare has been collecting sorting and shipping surplus medical supplies from hospitals (supplies that would’ve otherwise ended up in the garbage) to more than 80 countries. MedShare already had a shipment en route to a hospital in Haiti before the earthquake, however, a team of thousands work feverishly, to send over more than half a million dollars worth of medical supplies to Haiti since last Tuesday’s disaster.

After receiving your feedback, The Go Inspire Go Team was inspired to take action. We visited the folks at MedShare in San Leandro and created this video to inspire you to volunteer or donate your time to this amazing group and/or to do whatever you can to HELP HAITI -- NOW. Please watch, share and DO SOMETHING.

Meanwhile, I’m urging everyone in our multi-media community to pick up your cameras and document how other people in their communities are reaching out – even from thousands of miles away. If you’d like to send over your video or ideas on how to help Haiti, please email info@goinspirego.com.

Please check out these stories captured by Haitian film students at Ciné Institute. These reports, uploaded to the film school’s Vimeo Channel, highlight the utter devastation from the town of Jacmel just off of Haiti’s southern coast. These reports show the dire conditions from a park-turned-refugee camp. As you’re watching, please ask yourself “WHAT CAN I DO?” (Warning: Some images in these videos are disturbing):

This report was filed by Ciné Institute student, Lesly Decembre:

Student - Lesly Decembre reports from a makeshift refugee camp in Jacmel from Ciné Institute on Vimeo.

This report was filed this Monday by Ciné Institute student, Keziah Jean:

Pinchinat: Report by Keziah Jean from Ciné Institute on Vimeo.

Links to how YOU can HELP HAITI can be found on the right side of this blog!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to our Haitian brothers and sisters.


SPECIAL THANKS: GO Inspire GO volunteers, Ashley Lopez and Luis Pena-Philippides(production), Jessica Chang (co-writing MedShare story), Lorelle Graffeo (Help Haiti Logo and Web Design), Kevin Lee (programming).


  1. It's great to see some ideas of what a "normal person" can do to help. Sometimes it's hard to know where to go and what to do. It's great that we live in such a media rich environment where messages like this can reach people!

  2. regarding MedShare: I never knew that unused medical supplies were required, by law, to be disposed of post-surgery. What an incredible way to reuse resources that would have otherwise gone to waste.

  3. This story goes to show you that we waste so many valuable and perfectly reusable resources in this country without even thinking twice.

    It is incredible to see organizations like MedShare that think of ways to reuse supplies that would otherwise end up in a landfill, to help other communities worldwide!

  4. Medshare is such a smart concept. No medical supply should go to waste.

    Thanks for the information as to where to go and help. And thanks to the 12-year-old girl and the other volunteers who teach us that money is always appreciated and that there are other ways to contribute, like donating one's precious time or unused resources. Great example!

  5. Great message. There are tons of local opportunities out there to do something. The mother-daughter duo in the GiG video are such an inspiration, as is MedShare, who's been out there for over a decade working for people they don't even know. It seems like the difference this time, though, is that they've seen those faces in Haiti plastered all over the news, and with that sort of mental image, everything seems so much more urgent now.

    Awesome work, GiG, in finding a local story of relevance to the masses and bringing it to the stage.

  6. I am so thankful for organizations like MedShare who sees a wasteful practice & turns it into so much good for those in need. I can't wait to return in the near future to help sort & pack those supplies! Thank you to all of the volunteers we met at MedShare, as well as Chuck from MedShare you all are truly an inspiration.

  7. Whether it's food or medicine, we can help so many people with the things our society throws away without a thought. Thanks for bringing this organization to everyone's attention!

  8. Thanks, Toan & GiG Team. Great job on the story and bringing awareness to MedShare.org. Definitely inspiring with clear actions we can take to help.