Mano a Mano’s recovered resources program collects donated medical supplies, mobiilty equipment, and other items in Minnesota for shipment to Bolivia, where they are distributed to people and organizations in need throughout the country. We shipped 7 containers with 180,180 pounds of medical supplies and equipment from Minnesota to Bolivia in 2021. 276 organizations in Bolivia received supplies and equipment from Mano a Mano last year.

Distributing Medical Supplies and Equipment in the Twin Cities and to Organizations Working Around the World

While the primary mission of our surplus distribution program is to provide supplies for Bolivia, we have also expanded this program since 2020 to distribute durable medical equipment to individuals in need in the Twin Cities, and to provide supplies for other nonprofits working in other countries. We are happy to partner with other organizations when we have excess supplies, items that we cannot send to Bolivia, or items that are not the highest priority for our programs. Ultimately, we want to keep these supplies out of the landfill in Minnesota, and get them to people in need.

2 containers with 46,829 pounds of supplies starting their journey from Minnesota to Bolivia in June 2021.

Part of this is because shipping costs have risen dramatically since the start of the pandemic; we have also simply been receiving a larger quantity of in-kind donations at our St. Paul warehouse. Because of those factors, we have made it a priority to find other people and organizations that can put our excess supplies to use.

  • Total Pounds Collected: 348,076 pounds of donated medical supplies and equipment came through our doors in 2021.
  • Total Pounds Sorted and Distributed: Mano a Mano volunteers sorted, palletized, shipped, and donated 236,584 pounds.
  • Total Pounds Sent to Bolivia: 180,180 pounds were shipped to Bolivia and distributed to 276 organizations. We distributed 10,361 mobility aids.
  • Total Pounds Given to Other Organizations: A total of 57,438 pounds were given to other organizations with programs in the US and around the world (some of these items were processed/shipped in 2020).
  • Total Mobility Items Distributed Locally: In addition, we distributed 714 vital pieces of physical therapy equipment to 528 individuals in the Twin Cities area.

Volunteers Contributed 14,903 Hours in 2021

None of this work is possible without the many volunteers, interns, visitors, in-kind donors, and financial donors that support Mano a Mano – thank you! Volunteers spent 14,903 hours volunteering in 2021; 4,833 hours were spent working in our St. Paul warehouse: picking up donations of supplies, sorting and organizing donations, distributing supplies locally, and helping load containers for shipment to Bolivia and elsewhere. COVID limited our ability to host larger groups of volunteers or take trips to Bolivia for the second year in a row. We take the health and safety of our volunteers seriously, and we are so grateful to have such a committed group of people that did continue to help in-person. In addition to our core volunteers that are regulars, we also hosted 10 small groups, had 6 social work interns from Metro State University for the Fall 2021 semester, hosted a student worker through St. Kate’s Center for Community Work and Learning, hosted an intern from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and partnered with the University of Minnesota Doctor of Physical Therapy program in various research projects with 2 cohorts of 7 students each.

Working to Support the Environment Locally

Donations of Supplies to Other People & Organizations

Our local donation program is to help individuals in the Twin Cities area who lack insurance coverage or the financial means to obtain durable medical equipment commercially. We distributed 714 pieces of physical therapy equipment to 528 individuals who could not afford these items.

Excess durable medical equipment at the Mano a Mano warehouse; getting things ready for distributing them to people in the Twin Cities area.

Two nonprofit organizations that we have worked with for years are HERO Fargo in Fargo, North Dakota and MATTER in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. We will exchange supplies that are a better fit or higher priority for each other’s programs on a regular basis. About half of our total donations of supplies to other organizations are to these two nonprofits.

Traveling to Fargo to exchange supplies with HERO Fargo in July 2021.

We also provided supplies to Helping Hands USA in Chicago, Global Links in Pittsburgh, Falswar International Charity in Brooklyn Park, and other people and organizations supporting projects in countries including Liberia, Ghana, Cameroon, Jordan, El Salvador, and Honduras, among others.

We loaded more than 1,000 items weighing over 10,000 pounds to send to Global Links to support their surplus recovery programs in November 2021.

Supplies being distributed in Danli, Honduras

Mano a Mano volunteers loading supplies and equipment for Helping Hand for Relief and Development, August 2021.

Falswar International Charity receiving medical supplies from Mano a Mano at their warehouse in Brooklyn Park in August. Pictures (and the video below) courtesy of Anthony Swaray, Executive Director of Falswar International Charity. The video below shows supplies arriving in Monrovia, Liberia.

Loading supplies at the Mano a Mano warehouse destined for Honduras

Learn More About Donations of Supplies to Other People & Organizations

Pictures From Our St. Paul Office in 2021