Tag Archives: medwish

Guest Post: Call Me Trouble’s Band Aid Bash Recap

For as much fun as I had this past weekend nerding out over Felicia Day, Peter Davison and Brian Posehn, the downside of our roadtrip to Chicago was that I had to miss MedWish’s Band Aid Bash on Saturday night.

Fortunately, Katie O. was able to attend for me and share her experience.  Once you’ve enjoyed her recap, go check out her blog Call Me Trouble!

MedWish Band Aid Bash

First and foremost, I would like to thank Amanda for the opportunity to attend MedWish’s BandAid Bash. MedWish is an international philanthropy that collects and re-packages medical supplies to send abroad. Founded in 1993 MedWish is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year and the energy in the air at the event was palpable.

I felt so lucky to be a part of the event with my lovely date, Julie from Wearing Mascara. This event somehow made me feel like a red carpet celebrity while not disguising the meaningful work MedWish does each and everyday.

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GIVEAWAY: MedWish Celebrates 20 Years at Band Aid Bash

Band Aid Bash MedWish

Enter to win 2 tickets to MedWish’s Band Aid Bash

Last November I had the chance to spend the morning at MedWish for a Blogger Volunteer Day.  Although it meant waking up before 6am on a Saturday, getting to see the effects of MedWish’s unique mission was more than worth it.

In Northeast Ohio, we are very lucky that our hospitals are filled with an abundance of medical supplies. Unfortunately, there are many areas of the world where this is not the case and doctors have to make do with things like fishing line instead of sutures.

MedWish strives to match these healthcare professionals with the 500,000+ pounds of usable surplus that come through their door each year. However, to keep these supplies out of landfills and get them to the doctors, nurses and humanitarians that need them, MedWish needs both our time and financial support.

Which is where you and MedWish’s BAND AID BASH come in.

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Spend a Saturday with MedWish


The MedWish warehouse, where medical supplies for over 90 countries are collected

After pushing through any long week at work, I need a really good reason to wake up before 6 am on a Saturday.

But when local nonprofit MedWish International put out a call to bloggers to meet for a volunteer day, I had my reason.

I had heard a little bit about MedWish last Spring, but this past Saturday gave a hands-on glimpse into the empowering work MedWish is doing in their warehouse on Cleveland’s far east side.

MedWish Founder Dr. Lee Ponsky

Almost 20 years ago, Dr. Lee Ponsky was a surgical assistant in Nigeria with the World Health Organization.

Lacking even the most common supplies, doctors and nurses had to be their own MacGyvers using things like fishing line instead of suture. And when there wasn’t an alternative for certain medical supplies, Lee witnessed firsthand that patients often suffered and died for it.

Saddened but also riled by some of these experiences overseas, he returned to Cleveland determined to help resolve this need and started collecting unused medical supplies from local hospitals and clinics.

MedWish’s “hot items” – hard to keep in stock because they’re always needed

Over the years, this grew into the MedWish we know today, which in 2011 alone recovered more than 500,000 pounds of usable medical surplus.

By saving these items from landfills, Lee and his team puts them in the hands of people in need across the globe. From small crates and suitcases to 40′ cargo containers, MedWish delivers to over 90 countries.

MedWish works individually with the overseas recipients to ensure they receive the items they actually need – not things that would end up in unopened boxes.

And although they receive an impressive amount of medical supplies from regional hospitals and clinics, they will only deliver supplies that are in excellent and unexpired condition.

MedWish ships large hospital items like these beds to new clinics throughout the world

Because of this, MedWish relies on a corp of volunteers and their Building Careers vocational program to help their small but dedicated staff sort and package.

This is where our group came in on Saturday morning when I was joined by Wearing Mascara, sosAssociates and Cooker Girl.

After meeting Lee, we toured the warehouse and experienced first-hand how they sort and organize everything for delivery.

Our group’s task on Saturday was to go through surplus epidural kits to remove gauze, catheters, and a couple of fluids for injection. Although it was a fast and even fun activity, it was sobering to be reminded that each small piece from these surgical kits would ultimately have a huge impact on a patient overseas. An impact I’m only beginning to fathom.

Sorted epidural surgical kits

After Saturday’s blogger sort, I would encourage everyone to get involved with MedWish in some way:

  • Give your time:  MedWish can always use help sorting and packing the medical supplies they receive.Throughout the year they host Saturday sorts like the one I attended. There are also volunteer opportunities during weekdays and for groups.Become a volunteer: medwish.org/give/volunteer-info



  • Give funds: Every $1 donation to MedWish sends $16 of medical supplies overseas – with 92 cents of each dollar solely dedicated to recovering, repurposing and redistributing supplies. Donations can be made anytime online and by mail.You can also buy tickets to Huddle 2012 whose proceeds go to MedWish. The football-themed event on Nov. 17 provides a low-cost tailgate alternative to their Band Aid Bash.  Tickets are $25 which includes dinner, an auction and a visit from former Cleveland Browns player Dick Ambrose at the Wickliffe Italian-American club.Buy your Huddle tickets: medwish.org/huddle2012


  • Spread the word: You can actually do one thing right now for MedWish – help spread the word about their mission.Connect with MedWish on your social network of choice (@medwish on Twitter or facebook.com/MedWishInternational).And if you’re an Instagram, show MedWish what philanthropy in Cleveland means to you. Upload a photo, tag @medwishintl and use the hashtag #DoGoodCLE with your post by November 12 for a chance to win two tickets to Huddle 2012.

    Learn more: medwish.org/blog/what-does-philanthropy-mean-to-you

Happy bloggers (thanks to Wearing Mascara for the photo)

Thank you to Reanna, Traci, Lee and everyone I met during Saturday’s Sort. It was an even better reason than I thought to get out of bed so early!

Cleveland Events Making a Global Impact: IPM's Namaste! and MedWish's Band Aid Bash

A bit of blog-keeping:  Thanks to you, Cleveland made it to the Final Four of the Social Media Tourism Symposium’s 2012 contestTo get us to the finals, visit facebook.com/SoMeTourism on Tuesday, April 10 between 12:00 and 8:00 pm and vote for Cleveland.

On April 27 and 28, Cleveland will have two chances to reach beyond our community and make a global impact with locally-based organizations International Partners in Mission and MedWish

Thanks to our day-to-day routines, it can be easy to lose sight of what happens outside of our own backyard.

I do this all of the time…getting completely absorbed in what’s happening in my life and missing the challenges faced by others. This month, two locally-based organizations are hosting events where Clevelanders can learn more about and support international causes.

During the last weekend of April, we’ll have not one – but two – chances to reach beyond our community and help on a global scale with the 10th Annual Namaste! One Night for One World and 8th Annual Band Aid Bash.

IPM’s Namaste! One Night for One World

On Friday, April 27 from 6:30-9:30 pm, International Partners in Mission (IPM) is celebrating their 11th year in Cleveland with Namaste! One Night for One World at Trinity Commons (2230 Euclid Avenue, downtown Cleveland).

IPM works across borders of faith and culture on behalf of children, women, and youth to create partnerships that build justice, peace, and hope throughout the world.

They partner with over 70 community-based social service projects and micro-enterprise businesses on 5 continents – providing financial support, technical assistance and training opportunities to serve the needs of children, women, and youth.

One Night for One World invites guests to immerse themselves in the various cultural identities of global communities through live music, authentic food and beverages, decorations and education.  The event will also provide a snapshot of IPM’s unique immersion experience trips and will highlight the work of their Project Partners.

Tickets for individuals cost only $50 or you can contribute at the Patron level for $100.  High school and college students can purchase a ticket for $20 (with valid high school or college ID).  All proceeds from the ticket sales and silent auction will benefit IPM’s Project Partners in the United States and across the globe.

Visit namaste.ettend.com or call 216.932.4082 to order tickets.

MedWish’s Band Aid Bash

The very next night on Saturday, April 28, MedWish International will host their annual Band Aid Bash at 7pm in the MedWish Warehouse (Cleveland Clinic Parker Building, 17325 Euclid Ave., Cleveland).

MedWish is a not-for-profit organization committed to repurposing medical supplies and equipment discarded by the healthcare industry with the objectives of providing humanitarian aid in developing countries, while reducing waste to save our environment.

Since 1993, they have recovered, repackaged and redistributed 2.2 million pounds of life-saving medical supplies to 90 countries across the globe – supplies that would have otherwise been placed into local landfills.

The Band Aid Bash features Chef Chris Hodgson, who will be bringing three trucks – Dim and Den Sum, Hodge Podge, and The Nosh Box – to the party. In addition to cuisine from India, China and the U.S., guests will enjoy a live band and four full bars.

Prices range from $150 for one general admission ticket to $2,000 for two VIP tickets, reserved seating and Platinum-level recognition.

Learn more and purchase tickets at medwish.org/2012-band-aid-bash-party-for-the-planet.


So whether you can attend either – or better yet, both – events, the last weekend of April is the perfect time to support two local organizations and make a difference on a global level.

(Note: Namaste! graphics and photos provided by International Partners in Mission. Band Aid Bash images from medwish.org.)