Step 1: Suppliers Donate Goods
Our suppliers, like St. Luke’s Heath Center and Children’s Mercy Hospital, have medical equipment that is no longer going to be used in their facilities or they have excess materials that they must dispose of or recycle. Much of the equipment is still in perfect working condition but is being replaced in favor or newer models of equipment. The medical facilities could destroy and dispose of the outdated equipment, but disposal costs can be extremely high. The Franciscan Mission Warehouse offers them a better, less expensive opportunity to get rid of their outdated equipment and help people around the world.
Step 2: Sorting
Volunteers and staff work together to sort the donated supplies and store them in the appropriate areas. Everything from clothing, books, hospital beds & scalpels are donated by our suppliers, it takes a lot of work to sort through it all. With the help of our volunteers, the sorting and inventorying process makes it clear which supplies we have, and makes it easier to find a community in need of the materials we are ready to provide. An important part of this as well is finding the specialized equipment that is needed but hard to come by in other parts of our world – a dentist’s chair, for example.When we finish sorting the supplies and equipment, it is appropriately stored in our warehouse and awaits shipment.
Step 3: Finding Those in Need
One of the most challenging aspects of our mission’s work is finding the places where our donations will do the most good. With so many in need, we strive to find areas of the globe that have specific needs matching what our mission can specifically supply. To do this, we work with global charity partners and other organizations like ours, sharing information and arranging for shipments to those in need worldwide. These partnerships are one of our greatest assets, expanding our opportunity to reach out and provide for more of those in need.
Step 4: Getting the Supplies Where They’re Needed
Once we’ve finished all of the other steps, we get a shipping container and fill it to the brim with supplies. We pack in the supplies and equipment that are most needed first, then we add in the things that every community in need can use. This is the biggest expense for the mission, and we rely on the contributions of individuals, churches and other organizations to enable us to ship these valuable supplies where they are needed.
The mission also partners with other organizations that have the same or similar mission, but have a different base of support. When we work in partnership this way, our warehouse acts as a feeder of valuable supplies to other organizations, both larger and smaller, that handle the expenses and logistics of shipping the supplies.
Step 5: Share the Story
We live in the world of social media, and the last step in every shipment is sharing the story. With every shipment, we include a camera for the recipients to take pictures of themselves with the supplies. These photos are moving, exciting and invigorating, and we take every chance we get to share these photos to the outside. We ask all of our supporters to please share these stories of what the mission has done and helped others to do. When people share the stories, we invite more to be a part of our mission, enabling us to grow and carry on the work of creating a world of possibility for everyone.