We’ve had a busy few days with volunteers!

St. Kate’s

On Friday afternoon we had a group of students from the Medical Interest Group at St. Kate’s University in our warehouse, and then on Saturday we had a huge group from St. Kate’s again. Saturday was Citizen Katie Day, and more than 300 St. Kate’s students, alumnae, staff and faculty volunteered with nonprofits in the Twin Cities and other locations throughout the country, including Mano a Mano.

ortho party

Volunteers on Citizen Katie Day

sorting party

Volunteers on Citizen Katie Day. Jose Velasquez (blue-green shirt), Executive Director of Mano a Mano Bolivia which distributes the supplies in Bolivia and is in charge of the clinic and health programs, was in town and helped out on Saturday.

During the Citizen Katie event we packed 44 boxes of medical supplies worth roughly $25,000 and wrapped and packaged around 600 lbs. of orthopedic supplies such as crutches and walkers all of which will be shipped to our Bolivian staff in Cochabamba, Bolivia. They are distributed to our 140 Mano a Mano rural health centers which altogether provide healthcare to over 1 million rural residents in Bolivia, and are also distributed free-of-charge to other nonprofit and social service organizations in Bolivia.


Then yesterday we had a group from the Medtronic CVD Finance Department, who packaged 46 boxes of medical supplies and consolidated around 500 lbs of orthopedic supplies.

Medtronic volunteers breaking down orthopedic supplies to save space when shipping.

Medtronic volunteers breaking down orthopedic supplies to save space when shipping.

Medtronic volunteers

Medtronic volunteers

Why Our New Warehouse Space is Important

These kinds of activities are exactly why we moved into our new location in St. Paul. We are able to host much larger volunteer groups, which obviously helps with sorting and packing supplies but also helps us introduce Mano a Mano to more people in the Twin Cities. We can also handle more donations of supplies; in our first 9 months of being in our new space we have shipped more pounds of supplies to Bolivia than in any of the previous 5 yearsmore than 75,000 pounds!

Shipments by Year for the Last 5 Years

Shipments by Year for the Last 5 Years

Shipping is still extremely challenging due to very high shipping costs to Bolivia and a very time-consuming process through customs, but the program is very important; it helps maintain good standards and well-equipped facilities in Bolivia, and allows us to keep costs down so that we can continue to build new infrastructure projects and decrease our backlog (more than 300 communities have an active request for a project with Mano a Mano and are on our waiting list until we have funding).

Interested in Volunteering?

If you would like to be involved, you are always welcome to stop by for our Open Volunteer Time every Tuesday from 4-7p. Or if you have a group feel free to contact our Office Manager Dana ([email protected]) to set up a different time. Also, check out our events calendar for other activities with Mano a Mano.