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SOS changes health in LOU + beyond

This local organization has been redistributing unused medical supplies for 30 years.

An SOS van helps transport life-saving resources.

SOS helps distribute life-saving medical resources around the world.

Photo by SOS

Health organization SOS might be best known for its global reach, but the nonprofit is based right here in Louisville. For 30 years, it has been partnering with hospitals and medical institutions around the world to collect and redirect surplus medical supplies. This impacts 100,000 people in more than 106 countries every year.

SOS’s operations have saved 4.4 million pounds of non-biodegradable medical equipment and supplies from landfills, distributed $65.5 million worth of donated medical resources, and impacted more than 12.7 million lives.

The nonprofit’s worldwide reach is unmatched, with nearly 2,000 pounds of medical surplus being collected and redistributed every day — and it is one of only seven accredited medical surplus recovery organizations in the country. But its ties to the Louisville community are strong too, with support for 200+ local organizations.

SOS donates supplies to local animal welfare organizations, social service groups serving the homeless, and responds to natural disasters — like the flooding and winter storm that hit the Commonwealth last year.

The organization also helps medical education programs by providing supplies to JCPS schools and other educational institutions so students can have hands-on learning experiences.

Volunteers at SOS sorting medical supplies

A group of volunteers helps sort medical supplies.

Photo by SOS

SOS is always in need of volunteers to sort and prep medical supplies — plus, the activity can be great for team building or just a rewarding way to help save lives solo. To get involved, call SOS at (502) 736-6360 or send them an email.