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The Giving and Receiving of Life-Saving Insulin and Diabetes Supplies

This post is one of a series of seven blog posts that go behind the scenes on our recent short film Insulin for Life. Watch the film below and check back on our blog for more stories about the people in the documentary.


Every day, at their office in Gainesville, Florida, packages from around the United States arrive at the Insulin for Life USA (IFL USA) offices. When the IFL USA team and their dedicated volunteers open the boxes, one can sense the kindness with which they were put together. There are insulin vials and pens with ice packs tucked beside them, bubble wrap keeping meters safe and boxes of lancets, strips, alcohol swabs, pen needles and more carefully stacked – all no longer needed by their sender.


The supplies are sent to IFL USA with the hope that they can be repackaged and eventually end up in the hands of someone who is in dire need of access to insulin and diabetes supplies somewhere else in the world.


This is the work of IFL USA in its simplest form. Boxes arrive, supplies are unpacked, meticulously cataloged and sorted, repackaged and sent along their way to a distant community where a trusted medical practitioner will deliver them to someone who needs them to stay alive.


“Our goal at Insulin for Life is to provide access to those with no access,” said Carol Atkinson, the Director of Insulin for Life USA. “[The supplies] have been purchased, and prescribed and they aren’t able to be utilized by the person who has them.”


Atkinson noted that if they aren’t sent for redistribution, often these life-saving medical supplies end up in a landfill – no place for in-date, unused medical supplies. “Instead, through Insulin for Life USA, we are saving lives around the world of people who have no access.”


The story of access to insulin and diabetes supplies is deeper than this giving and receiving of boxes. It involves broken supply chains, lack of government subsidies for medical care, families with little income for their daily needs, healthcare providers who don’t have access to what their patients need, children with bright futures ahead of them and adults with loved ones to care for.


The IFL USA team is excited to share this complex story in their new documentary film Insulin for Life: Real Stories of the Struggle for Access and the Dedicated Individuals Who Help. Watch the film below and discover the many layers of this global issue and how donors to Insulin for Life USA help alleviate the worry of families around the globe.


Watch the film below to learn more about how donations are sent and received by Insulin for Life USA.

To donate supplies or funds to Insulin for Life USA click here.