CAMDEN — On a bright summer Saturday morning, Aug. 20, when many are thinking about going swimming or “yardsaling,” a group of local residents donated their time to sorting medical supplies in a warehouse on Mount Battie Street.

The supplies are headed to places where the need is great, including war-torn regions such as Ukraine, Syria, Liberia and Mali.

Elizabeth McLellan of Partners for World Health, left, sorts medical supplies in Camden with Anna Rich, center, and Kate Rich. Kate is a nurse at Pen Bay Medical Center. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

The volunteer effort in Camden started some years ago when Alison McKellar began gathering supplies for NuDay Syria, to help refugees displaced by the war in that nation. Now the volunteers are working with Partners for World Health, which was founded by Camden native and nurse Elizabeth McLellan.

The donated goods, some still dropped off on McKellar’s front porch in Camden, go to multiple countries. The biggest difference in the operation, according to volunteer Angeline Ferris of Camden, is it now only takes donations of medical supplies, though Beanie Babies are also welcomed.

Alison McKellar of Camden moves medical supplies in a warehouse on Mount Battie Street. The supplies will be donated to people in other nations in need. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

McLellan, McKellar and a team of about 10 volunteers worked to sort the medical supplies that included hospital gowns, IV equipment, walkers, wheelchairs, beds and numerous other items. The supplies will be trucked to the Partners for World Health headquarters in Portland and from there make their way to those in need around the world.

Our hospitals and medical facilities often discard medical supplies that can still be used in other nations, and this organization captures these items and keeps them from being wasted.

The organization has five warehouses in Maine and facilities out of state as well.

McLellan said it receives help from as many as 800 volunteers.

She added medical missions to Bangladesh and Nepal are planned for October and the group still needs a medical oncologist and a surgical gynecologic oncologist. Those interested in helping can call 207-774-5555.

The warehouse on Mount Battie Street is owned by Michael Mullins. The group said he was helpful in providing them space, use of a forklift and bins.

Wendy Rich of Camden helps sort medical supplies being donated to help people overseas. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

Alison McKellar’s dog, Timber, offers moral support during the sorting party in a Camden warehouse Saturday, Aug. 20. Photo by Daniel Dunkle