LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On Sunday, Louisville-based nonprofit SOS International delivered 44,181 medical supplies to Whitesburg Medical Clinic in Letcher County after the historic floods.

Besides medical supplies, the organization said it also donated 1,000 personnel hygiene items and a second vehicle was filled with cases of water. More vehicles loaded with items will also go out this week to Eastern Kentucky.

What You Need To Know

  • SOS International is delivering medical supplies and other needed items to Eastern Kentucky to help after the region’s historic floods

  • The Louisville-based nonprofit delivered 44,181 medical supplies to Whitesburg Medical Clinic in Letcher County, along with 1,000 personnel hygiene items and water

  • The organization’s present and CEO said it waits to hear from partners in the field as to what is needed prior to delivering donated items

  • SOS International asks anyone who wants to deliver new personal hygiene items to drop them off at their headquarters in Louisville 

A look around SOS International’s warehouse in Louisville, and one can find just about any medical supply item, ranging from bovies to PPE. All the new medical supplies and other gently used items are donated.

“We get a lot of regular donations from the hospitals in Louisville, as well as just walk up donations from individuals and other organizations. So these come from all over, and then it’s our job to sort it out,” Warehouse Associate Ronan Kinsella said.

SOS International sorts and ships the donations across the U.S. and to over 100 countries around the world. Currently, though, they are focused on shipping tens of thousands of medical supplies to Eastern Kentucky. 

CEO and President of SOS International Denise Sears said during a natural disaster, the nonprofit’s chief role is to be ready when needed.

“We don’t load up a truck and drive down immediately after a disaster, which can impede disaster relief and actually exacerbate the situation for rescue workers,” she explained.

Instead, the nonprofit talks and coordinates with organizations and relief workers in the area to figure out what is actually needed. In addition, Sears said some donations are set aside for when they are needed, such as sheets and towels from Louisville area hotels.

“With the cleanup, this stuff will go a long way,” SOS International’s Local Health Program Manager Keith Jointer said. Jointer also said personal hygiene items are in great need right now.

“Soap shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, those types of things,” he said. “I’m reaching out to all of my friends requesting that if they have personal hygiene items to please drop it off to us and let us get it to these people, the nine different counties that are going to need it,” he said.

Wheel chairs, walkers and crutches are also a few of many other items ready to go, if needed.

“During Western Kentucky, probably four or five days after the initial tornado, that request came in. That was another great collaboration with the [American] Red Cross, so we anticipate that that will come as well,” Sears said, regarding the request for wheelchairs and other items to help people get around.

Besides the Whitesburg Medical Clinic delivery on Sunday, Sears told Spectrum News SOS International has also been contacted by the American Red Cross, is currently working on a shipment for Whitesburg ARH Hospital, and the list of organizations reaching out is growing. 

Even though the floods devastated Eastern Kentucky, this is just one of many examples of all of Kentucky helping.

If you want to help, SOS International is taking new personal hygiene donations, from toothbrushes to shampoo, at their headquarters at 1500 Arlington Ave., Louisville, KY 40206. You can drop-off the items Monday through Friday 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. or call 502-736-6360 for more information.