Recycling Medical Supplies

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A simple box of new syringes can be a priceless treasure for developing countries.  In destitute regions, it’s not uncommon for one syringe to be used on many people. As Reed Galin reports, an organization of Christian and Muslim volunteers is making medical leftovers into lifesavers.

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(Locator: Munster, Indiana)

David Harvey, M.D./Children of Abraham:  “This beautiful instrument is a bone breaker. You can use this to cut away a piece of bone.”

Dr. David Harvey knows the value of having the right medical tools. He is a volunteer with Children of Abraham, an interfaith association that salvages surplus medical supplies and ships them to developing countries.

Champ Merrick/President, Children of Abraham: “We’ve sent to not only Liberia, but Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Mozambique, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bolivia.”

United Methodist Champ Merrick organizes the shipments, using skills learned from a long career in the transportation industry.

The Rev. David Schrader/United Methodist: “We’ve got a theme: No junk for Jesus. We match our inventory with their needs.”

The Rev. David Schrader works with two Methodist hospitals in the Chicago area which are among 20 contributors. The goal is to help as many countries as possible, including Nigeria, this doctor’s homeland.

Dr. Olabode Oladenbe/Children of Abraham: “These are people who are involved in helping other people without bias for race, creed, religion and without any expectations for themselves.”

Imam Mongy El-Quesny (PRONOUNCED: E Mom  Mon Gee  El-kose nee) says he knows the interfaith effort is making a difference.

Imam Mongy El-Quesny/Vice-President, Children of Abraham: “I see our government today in Washington, D.C. try very hard to show the good image of the Americans.  I think we have proved it by this little help we send to others.”


One hospital recently donated eight large boxes of surgical instruments that were destined for the dumpster.  The value was about $15,000.  For more information, contact the Indiana Area of the United Methodist Church: or 317-924-1321.