Ocean-Freight Container Shipment
Medical Bridges, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We solicit and receive donations of supplies and gently-used equipment from the medical community in the Greater Houston area. It should be pointed out that all orders for supplies and equipment through us require either a U.S. certified 501(C) (3) nonprofit organization, U.S. corporation, or an individual within the U.S with a valid EIN or Social Security Number to act as the sponsor and shipper of record for your container. This is a legal issue required by the US government and not Medical Bridges before these types of items can be shipped outside the U.S. Additionally, items sent to consignees must be used to provide healthcare to those in need at little or no cost and cannot be resold. Medical Bridges carefully investigates the receiving organization to ensure these requirements are met before entering into any agreement to send medical goods outside the U.S.
The process starts by registering at our website and selecting the Container image. There you will be asked to register with a unique username and password. Once registered, you can open the Container Application module. There you will find a listing of the supplies and equipment we usually have in our inventory. Once the list is completed and submitted on the website, we then review your request. This is equivalent to a “wish list”, as our inventory is very dynamic and changes daily. We provide feedback within 72 hours as to whether we are able to provide the majority of your requested items. Once the order is accepted, we email the sponsor our “Standard Agreement” and an invoice. The Standard Agreement must be signed and returned to us and the invoice must be funded.
Our standard business practice is to begin the building of your container within 48 hours of receiving funding. Once begun, this process normally takes two to six weeks, depending on the availability of items requested. You usually receive a five-day advance notice from Medical Bridges of the container's readiness for shipment. We begin working with your freight forwarder to arrange for the delivery of a container here at our location for loading. Once the container is completed and we have a shipping date, we send appropriate paperwork to the sponsor and recipient, including a Donation Certificate, Non-Commercial Invoice, and a Packing List. Your loaded container is then on its way to provide hope to those so in need.
Medical Bridges has sent medical supplies and equipment to qualified hospitals and clinics serving indigent populations in over 81 different countries on five continents during its 17-year history.
Sponsoring organizations such as churches, civic groups, local corporations doing business abroad, and international organizations all have to apply to send medical supplies to clinics and/or hospitals in developing countries. The application process ensures that we are sending supplies to a qualified facility that serves the indigent population.
Based on the information contained in the application, Medical Bridges offers an online catalog to help the sponsor to define its request of supplies. The quantity will be decided by Medical Bridges upon availability.Hand-Carried Shipment
The process starts by registering on our website and completing a Hand-Carried Application Request Form. Once the list is completed and submitted through our website, we review it and contact you (generally within 48 hours) to let you know whether we are able to provide the majority of the items you are requesting.
No, we don’t provide any medications, prescribed or over-the-counter.
Medical equipment is reserved for Ocean-Freight container shipments.
Your Hand-Carried order will contain new, in-date, unopened medical supplies. We don’t send any expired or used supplies. However, we may include some surgical instruments where sterility cannot be guaranteed. These items can be sterilized or re-sterilized, per appropriate protocol.
Up to 10 Medical Bridges standard boxes.
Medical Bridges standard box size is 16 3/8” x 12 5/8” x 12 5/8” and weighs approximately 15 lbs.
You can arrange for a third-party courier or package delivery company to pick up your order from our distribution center in Houston. Please email the Director of Business Development if special arrangements are needed.
You will receive a Packing List and a Certificate of Donation with your order. If any other documentation is required, please contact the Director of Business Development.
The Hand-Carried preparation time is 10 business day from the time payment is received. There is an additional $100 expedite fee for five-business-day turnaround from the time payment is received.
Medical Bridges accepts surplus medical supplies that are not contaminated and are safe to use. The supplies can be sterile or non-sterile. Supplies with an expiration date need to have at least 14 months remaining before expiration. We ask that donated equipment must be in working condition with appropriate manuals and accessories; however, we will accept equipment without meeting these criteria. We cannot accept any medications, prescribed or over-the-counter. If you have questions about a possible donation, please email Jeremiah Judkins or call 713-766-6558 to discuss an immediate donation.
American surplus is created in a variety of ways. Cancelled procedures lead to the disposal of supplies; promoted new items leave old supplies sitting on shelves; prescribed home supplies are rarely used to completion; and newer technology renders equipment obsolete.
Medical Bridges receives medical supplies and equipment from hospitals, clinics, individuals, medical supply companies, and many other sources throughout the Houston area and beyond.
Medical Bridges has a truck which makes pickups in the greater Houston area on a daily basis. To request a pickup, please fill out the form. You can also email Jeremiah Judkins or call 713-766-6558 to check availability for pickups outside the Houston area.
Yes, since Medical Bridges is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law. Medical Bridges will provide you with a tax receipt for your donation.
Volunteers are needed Monday through Saturday. Due to safety reasons, all volunteers must be at least 15 years of age. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. We welcome churches, schools, and businesses organizations looking to make a difference in someone's life. Schedule your volunteer session here.
In order to provide the best experience for our volunteers, Medical Bridges limits the volunteer group size to 15 people.
Volunteer hours are typically 9:00 to 12:00 (Session 1) and 1:00 to 3:00 (Session 2) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
We are also open 9:00 to 12:00 on Saturdays.
All volunteer dates are by appointment only. Saturdays fill up fast!
Any exceptions will need prior approval, so please email Steve Bolfing as soon as possible (minimum four weeks).