June 30, 2020
With sadness, I regret informing everyone that we are reducing our service capacity effective July 1st and for an undetermined length of time. The state of Massachusetts is behind this budget-making season and the state’s fiscal year ends June 30th. Our funder, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, can only commit to a 6-month contract and at a significantly reduced amount from last fiscal year. The net result is an 80% reduction in REquipment’s funding.
As you can imagine we are scrambling to keep our doors open, to continue accepting donations, and turn badly-needed DME back into the community. This is a make-or-break-moment for REquipment and we are asking for your help.
Reduced Program Hours and Services
- We are reducing our hours to 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Expect longer wait times for both collecting donations and delivering requested devices. Waits could be as long as 2 to 4 weeks.
- Expect longer wait times for donations to be refurbished and posted online as available.
- Expect fewer powered devices available. We simply will not have the funds for the batteries powered equipment requires ($500 on average for a power wheelchair).
- Expect that we may decline your donation for lack of storage. Our off-site storage units will be reduced. This is especially difficult during this pandemic, as we need more, not less, storage in order to quarantine donations.
How You Can Help
Make a financial donation to REquipment
Send a check to REquipment, DME Reuse, PO Box 311, Methuen, MA. 01844 or donate to REquipment, Inc. online.
Contact your state legislators as soon as possible
Tell them what a valuable service REquipment DME Reuse is and why. They need to hear from as many of you as possible so that they know the impact this will have on their communities. Ask them to restore service cuts and extend our contract through June 30, 2021. Find your state legislator. Call or write or both. Please also copy any emails to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can keep track of your testimonials to use for any future fundraising.
Below is a sample letter to use:
Dear Honorable [insert the name of your state legislator here]:
I’m writing in support of REquipment, Inc. The REquipment program provides free gently-used wheelchairs, scooters, bathroom equipment, standers, and other durable medical equipment to anyone who requests it in Massachusetts. The program benefits individuals with disabilities, including veterans and children, as well as seniors and caregivers. It has made a big difference to our communities and in my life [insert your testimonial here, if appropriate].
I’ve just heard word that REquipment is cutting staff from 5.6 FTEs to 3.8 FTEs and cutting services and hours of operation. The Massachusetts Rehabilitiation Commission is cutting the program’s funding by 80% this new fiscal year due to the slow state budget-making process. As result, REquipment is reducing its hours and is struggling to keep operating. Ironically, this is happening just as REquipment approaches $10 million worth of refurbished equipment it has turned around and kept out of landfills since opening its doors!
REquipment helps people in Massachusetts stay safe in their homes and participate in their communities. REquipment has been helping respond to new needs because of the pandemic, but now the program is losing capacity. Please remember REquipment Durable Medical Equipment Reuse during your budget-making process. Restore service cuts and extend the REquipment contract through June 30, 2021. Now is not the time to lose an organization that has played a role as an essential service during this crisis.
[your name and address]