This past tuesday, the 29th of April, I spent several hours helping out at the Afya Foundation’s sorting headquarters in Yonkers. For the first part of the day, I helped to sort and check expiration dates on various odds and ends of medical equipment, donated to the foundation from hospitals in huge and disorganized boxes. By grouping supplies by kind and making sure that nothing will have expired in less than a year, we helped to speed up the process of shipping supplies and making sure that everything passes through customs. After that I spent some time shelving already sorted items. Each bag of supplies had a specific number that identified it’s place among the many rows of boxes.
Going to the Afya Foundation’s shipment site was an experience that made relief and aid efforts seem much more tangible to me. Having seen the immense facilities and the huge stockpiles and shelves of donated equipment, I can better understand the amount of work and time goes into maintaining the kind of commitment to aid that Afya, and other organizations, have made. Working with the Afya Foundation helped me to have a better understanding of what exactly I can do to help, and how useful volunteering can actually be.