Distributing Supplies to People & Organizations in the US, Honduras, Uganda, and Elsewhere

Mano a Mano started in 1994 with the goal of saving surplus medical supplies from the landfill in Minnesota and shipping them to Bolivia, where we knew these supplies were desperately needed and could be used immediately. In 2019, Mano a Mano shipped 9 40-foot containers filled with 203,747 pounds of donated supplies and equipment to Bolivia. We also donated tons of supplies to other nonprofits that benefit people in Minnesota, Honduras, Uganda, and elsewhere.

Shipping 30 Gaylords of Mobility Equipment to Honduras – January 2020

Shipping supplies to Honduras – at MSP Airport, January 2020

Mano a Mano volunteer Ray Wiedmeyer wrote the note below after delivering 30 gaylords of supplies from the Mano a Mano warehouse to MSP Airport on January 8, where they will make their way to Honduras:

Shipping supplies to Helping Hands for Honduras, January 2020

“Every week a group of volunteers from Mano a Mano goes over to Goodwill to sort thru all the medical supplies collected at the 48 Goodwill stores in this region. It is one of our best sources for the mobility equipment we ship to Bolivia. It is so good sometimes that our cup does run over. It is I suppose a great problem to have but it often bums me out…..especially when I need to recycle or throw away things we cannot afford to ship.

Shipping supplies to Honduras – loading supplies at the Mano a Mano warehouse, January 2020

On January 8, we were thrilled to ship out 30 gaylords (large shipping boxes) of mobility equipment to a totally new place. (Think 1000 pairs of crutches, 445 walkers, and 56 wheel chairs.) This shipment will go to East Regional Hospital Gabriela Alvarado in the Central American country of Honduras. It is the first time a shipment this large has gone out from the Mano a Mano warehouse to a country other than Bolivia. And thanks to all the stars lining up we had organizations in both the U.S. and Honduras that could move this shipment thru the U.S. AID Denton Program. These 30 pallets of supplies will be transported as humanitarian aid by a U.S. Air Force transport plane doing a training run down to Central America…and for free.

What to do when your cup runneth over….look for someone who’s cup needs filling….”

Shipping supplies to Honduras – loading supplies at the Mano a Mano warehouse, January 2020

5,967 Pounds of Supplies Donated to Other Organizations in 2019

In addition to the recent large donation to Helping Hands for Honduras this month, Mano a Mano donated 5,967 pounds of supplies to other organizations in 2019. (Another 4,666 pounds of supplies were recycled.) Some of these donations were:

  • Walkers and crutches for MATTER in the Twin Cities
  • Liquid food and other items for Orphan Grain Train
  • Miscellaneous medical supplies for a program in Uganda
  • Diapers and other items to a local Twin Cities food shelf

We also have regularly partnered with HERO in Fargo to exchange supplies that are higher priority for both organizations (HERO recognized Mano a Mano as its Community Partner of the Year in 2018!). In February 2020, we will be working with Twin Cities-area physical therapists for the first time to distribute mobility equipment to some of their clients that have difficulty acquiring needed items.

Distributing 203,747 Pounds of Supplies in Bolivia – 2019

The vast majority of the donated supplies and equipment we send out (97%) goes to Bolivia – below are links to a few of the many distributions we made over the past year to people & organizations throughout the country from our Cochabamba warehouse. But 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.

Distributing supplies to dozens of organizations at Mano a Mano’s warehouse in Cochabamba – September 2019