SPH and World Medical Relief
One day in 1953, Detroit resident Irene Auberlin watched a television show about orphaned children in war-torn Korea. Instead of turning off the TV and going back to her life, Auberlin, a 57-year-old self-described “housewife with time on my hands,” mobilized friends and family to send baby clothes and formula to Korea. Her impromptu relief organization soon evolved into World Medical Relief, which since 1953 has shipped nearly a billion dollars’ worth of medical equipment and supplies to people in need around the world. Last September, as part of the annual U-M SPH Practice Plunge, first-year SPH students furthered Auberlin’s vision by volunteering at the organization’s headquarters in Southfield, Michigan.