In the face of a disaster, disease, violence or poverty, sometimes it is the most basic of material goods that can be the most useful.
Operation USA is proud to have been delivering material aid in the form of medical supplies and equipment, medicines and vitamins, energy and shelter materials to people in need since its earliest days.
In the Port of Los Angeles–which occupies 7,500 acres of land and water along 43 miles of waterfront on San Pedro Bay—is a 24,000 square foot warehouse facility run by Operation USA. Opened more than 20 years ago, today the California Board of Pharmacy-licensed facility is run by two longtime OpUSA Staff Members and serves communities here at home and around the world. Though the warehouse thrives in times of disaster response, shipments go out to communities in need throughout the year.
In addition to ongoing program support, the OpUSA warehouse is poised to react quickly and efficiently when disaster strikes. During these busy times, volunteers are called in from other local agencies to help facilitate the receiving, organizing, storing and shipping of materials. Most of those materials are donated as bulk, in-kind donations from corporate partners, and can include anything from large hospital equipment and machinery to water purification supplies to diapers and baby food, among other things. The warehouse is also stocked with shelter items, first aid kits and over the counter medications for quick distribution in the face of disaster. Operation USA works consistently throughout the year to procure large donations from corporations and health care partners, and these partnerships are especially valuable when communities have been impacted by a disaster such as an earthquake, tornado, flood, drought or typhoon.
Once in-kind donations are received, staff and volunteers work to pack sea containers, trucks or planes for shipments overseas or within the United States. Often, the actual shipping process is the greatest challenge in providing much-needed relief to disaster-stricken communities. When corporate partners provide materials, and the destination is determined, OpUSA and the warehouse staff must then coordinate the donation of shipping services by truck, cargo plane or ship, or must raise the funds needed to pay for the shipments. When the general public responds to a disaster with a monetary donation, those funds can be allocated directly to “getting it there” and ensuring that a shipment can get out of the warehouse quickly. This type of donation plays a key role in disaster relief.
In 2015, Operation USA’s material aid efforts were dominated by Nepal earthquake recovery–we shipped four 40-foot sea containers to Nepal through Kolkata, India to the World Health Organization, which was leading health care and logistics in the post-earthquake environment. Operation USA also provided medical equipment and health care supplies to partners worldwide last year, including groups in Liberia, Tanzania, Guatemala, Cambodia, the Philippines and here in Southern California.
Operation USA is grateful to all partners who make our material aid and shipping programs possible.
For more information or to join us as a corporate donor, contact us.