Parting ways with your unused durable medical equipment: why it matters

Our current storage space

Our current storage space

Nearly two years ago, we stumbled across an incredible opportunity when we were approach by a wheelchair user who wanted to donate their hoyer lift to us so that someone else who may need one can benefit from it. Now, mind you, this took place shortly after we launched NorCal SCI and we had not made any plans at that time to get involved in something like this. Little did we know that we had stumbled upon an incredible opportunity to be one of the fewest repositories in all of Northern California that accepts donated durable medical equipment, only to give them back free to those who may benefit from such equipment.

Two years later, we have received and distributed equipment with a value of well over $150,000 that operates on one simple premise: if you have durable medical equipment that’s going unused and is in good condition, one of the fellow members of the SCI community may benefit from receiving it. There are countless stories of how such generosity has made a huge difference in the life of the recipient:

  • Two individuals living in homes where the bedrooms and large bathrooms were located upstairs were stunned when they received two stairlifts in almost new condition valued at nearly $25,000.

  • One recently-injured man with a health insurance plan that didn’t pay for a power wheelchair received an almost new top-of-the-line F5 Permobil wheelchair that fit him perfectly, a value of over $15,000.

  • A young quadriplegic seeking an automatic hospital bed scored when we were contacted by the family of a man who passed away before being able to use the bed. The brand new bed was made available to the family of the quadriplegic who literally picked it up within 24 hours, driving to San Francisco all the way from Fresno.

The stories go on but the most wonderful part of what we see is the surprised looks on people’s faces when they realize the equipment is free for their benefit. Some non-profits offer similar programs but they turn around and sell the equipment, often times to help fund other programs. We also didn’t realize this but very few organizations accept donated power wheelchairs, usually due to concerns with the operation of the wheelchair as well as liability. We’re proud to say that we accept power wheelchairs.

And so, look around where you live. Do you have durable medical equipment that’s in good running condition and you no longer use it, other than to hang laundry on? If you do, consider donating it and hopefully, you’ll help someone else who can’t afford purchasing a similar item or their insurance won’t pay for it. We don’t accept medical supplies, however, but we know THIS ORGANIZATION does.

For our part, we decided a month ago to invest $3,500 annually by securing a large storage space in Los Gatos to accommodate our inventory. We’re doing our part to help the SCI community members in need. You can do your part by contacting us via e-mail at info@norcalsci.org or (408) 458-9863 to let us know what you wish to donate. We don’t pick up donated equipment, so you can either bring them to our storage facility or hold on to them until we find an interested party who could pick up your item directly. To see our current inventory of donated equipment, CLICK HERE.