An Extraordinary Year

As we close the book on the extraordinary year that was 2017, we're humbled that amid economic downturn, a Super Bowl, Hurricane Harvey devastation, and a World Series win, your support never wavered. The faithfulness of our donors and volunteers ensured that shipments of life-saving medical supplies and equipment continued to bridge the healthcare gap. In fact, Medical Bridges shipped far more supplies in 2017 than ever before - 83  shipments of hope! Your generosity impacted lives in our community and abroad.


Despite its timing in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the 2017 One People, One World Gala was a celebratory and successful evening thanks to the hard work of our Gala Chairs. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Kim Weill, Elizabeth Kanaly, Elizabeth Grzebinski and Dolly Dawson Thomas whose year of hard work and planning resulted in a gala that was a remarkable social and financial success.

We marvel at the serendipity of 2017 when we remember with gratitude the individuals and organizations that donated supplies. Donations seem to materialize when they're needed. For example, when we desperately needed beds, we received a huge donation of beds from Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services. We are also grateful for the  Texas A&M BUILD mobile clinic project. The initial goal of 12 clinics (in honor the 12 students killed in the 1999 bonfire accident) was so successful that BUILD has decided to continue. They will provide four more clinics in 2018 that we will ship to Ecuador, Tanzania, Lebanon and Dominica.


Hurricane Harvey helped Medical Bridges show its commitment to the Houston Community even though our core outreach is overseas. One of our staff took the initiative to use his personal car to hand-deliver urgently needed supplies to first responders at the George R. Brown Convention Center's disaster response medical clinic. Through this effort, relationships were established with the Houston Community Tool Bank, the Ibn Sina Foundation, Gleaning for the World, and the Disaster Medical Assistance Team (part of the National Disaster Medical System that works in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. We are grateful for the assistance of the Brother's Brother Foundation in Pittsburgh. They reacted to news of the unfolding disaster in Houston by shipping two truckloads of specifically requested supplies to Medical Bridges.

Through the uncertainty and tumult of the year, our donors, volunteers and staff maintained a positive attitude - literally through rain or shine. This perseverance and positivity resulted in successful shipments of life-saving supplies in the face of international regulatory and customs changes.

Impact Of Your Support

Thanks to you, more mothers and infants are surviving childbirth, vision is being restored, and men, women and children throughout the world are receiving healthcare services despite abject poverty, armed conflicts and natural disasters. One example of your impact is the work of   Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD). HHRD is a global humanitarian relief and development organization responding to human suffering in emergency and disaster situations all over the world with special focus in countries with massive population living below the poverty line. HHRD has partnered with Medical Bridges to bring medical supplies and equipment to Emergency Medical Clinics, Mother-Child Healthcare Centers, and Surgery Centers.

In September, Medical Bridges partnered with Chevron, sending two Shipments of Hope
to Mexico in response to the devastating earthquakes there. These shipments were delivered to Topos, a nonprofit, Mexican rescue team. These supplies continue to support reconstruction efforts in the affected areas. Additionally, Medical Bridges, Brother's Brother Foundation and the FederacĂ­on Union Hidalguense sent disaster relief supplies that were distributed to first responders in Mexico.

Western Hemisphere disasters continued as Hurricane Maria ravaged islands throughout the Caribbean. Thanks to your generosity, Medical Bridges could respond by sending life-saving emergency medical supplies to Puerto Rico and Dominica.

Other Highlights

Other highlights of 2017 include our wonderful 20th Anniversary Celebration, and the Service Award Dinner where individuals who selflessly give of their time, talents and resources to bridge the healthcare gap were recognized. Additionally,  Medical Bridges was named a BBB Accredited Charity, received a Gold Rating by Guidestar, earned a 4-Star designation from Charity Navigator for a third consecutive year, and landed in the top three of Best Charities in Houston as reported by Charity Navigator.

What More Could We Do?

With increased funding, Medial Bridges could improve customer service by being able to provide equipment that is needed on an ongoing basis (such as parts to keep costly medical equipment working). We could improve the Biomedical Test Room by adding a water source and supplying test equipment such as a Patient Simulator. With more resources Medical Bridges could send staff overseas to follow up on deliveries, visit the facilities, and observe and record the subsequent impact.

When we dream big we think about more ways we'd love to engage with our local community and the world. We'd love to get the word out more, and we are attempting to open satellite collection sites in other Texas cities.

Thank you again for your unwavering support! We pledge that with your patronage, together, we will continue to make a world of difference.