Valley organizations working to get donated medical equipment to those in need
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - For some community members finding affordable medical equipment in order to complete day-to-day activities can be a difficult task, and that’s where two Valley nonprofits have stepped in.
“We have a variety of medical equipment such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, shower chairs bedside commodes, pretty much anything you might need,” the coordinator for Equipment for Caring at Mission Central in Harrisonburg Delores Reid said.
Reid and the team of volunteers at Mission Central are open Mondays and Thursdays for two hours each day, collecting, sorting, and sanitizing donated items that will soon go to another community member in need.
Since 2018, the onsite equipment closet has collected everything from adult diapers to shower chairs, which Reid says fills a need often forgotten about.
“People are not always receiving the things they need through their insurance or they may not have insurance, and the logistics of the paperwork with Medicare and insurance sometimes hold up the delivery of supplies even and so we’ve filled in with that time period as well,” Reid said.
Another organization filling the need in the area is the Elkton branch of All Blessings Flow, another organization that provides free used medical equipment.
Located in a storage building at Elkton Area United Services’ Thrift Shop, those in need of equipment contact the main branch in Charlottesville which will then coordinate a time with a volunteer to get them the items they need.
“It’s very overwhelming to try and figure out what this equipment is, where are they supposed to get it from, and of course the cost of the equipment because so much of the medical equipment is extremely expensive,” the manager of the Elkton Branch of All Blessings Flow Shannon Kibbler said.
Kibbler is an occupational therapist who has worked in different rehabilitation settings with patients of all ages and says no matter how small the piece of equipment there is always a need.
“Especially when the person’s on a fixed income or they just can’t afford to suddenly have to spend hundreds of dollars on different equipment they need. Plus, being an occupational therapist helps in that I can educate the person that’s coming to pick up the equipment whether it’s the patient themselves or the family member on how to use it,” Kibbler explained.
Both organizations run strictly on donations, and say a big need right now is wheelchairs and shower chairs. Monetary donations are also a need so volunteers can purchase popular smaller items like adult diapers and wound-cleaning equipment.
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