July 9, 2021
Since July of 2020, we’ve given away over 134 refurbished power wheelchairs, the most expensive items in our inventory. New, these power chairs range from $5,000 (basic models) to $45,000 (custom configurations). As you can imagine, giving away equipment this expensive makes a remarkable difference in the lives of people who request it. The challenge now is to keep pace with device donations and demand.
Our technicians spend most of their time evaluating, inspecting, repairing, cleaning, and testing each power wheelchair before it is assigned to a new owner. Every power wheelchair receives two new batteries to ensure the chair will operate properly. We use our limited resources wisely and shop around to get the best price we can for batteries; it costs between $160-$200 per power wheelchair for batteries alone. Since the start of the pandemic, the cost of batteries has risen due to costs associated with the supply chain.
Why are we so motivated? Some people can’t function without this equipment. They’re people with new or lifelong disabilities, older adults, families with children with disabilities, or those with a temporary need due to surgery or illness. Examples include:
• a 93-year-old WWII/Korean veteran needing a power wheelchair to stay in the home where he and his wife raised their family and to get to his newly built accessible garden.
• a woman with cerebral palsy from Boston who no longer had the energy to walk long distances received a power wheelchair to get to her appointments and have a social life.
When I tell people what REquipment does–accepting used medical equipment, cleaning, repairing, and giving it away for free–I always get a great response: “That’s wonderful!” “It’s so needed!” “It’s great someone is doing it and not throwing all that equipment away!”
Well, now I’m asking for your support.
REquipment is the only reuse program in the state refurbishing power wheelchairs. All the other smaller programs have stopped due to the cost of batteries and the increasing complexity of repairing power chairs. When they get a donation offer of a power wheelchair, they send the person to us. We are the only program that serves the entire state and provides delivery.
Won’t you sponsor a power wheelchair? Approximately. $500 gets a REquipment power chair out of our warehouse and rolling into your communities.
Donations of any amount can be made at www.dmereuse.org through our secure Network for Good portal or by sending a check made out to REquipment DME Reuse Program to REquipment, PO Box 311, Methuen, MA 01844. We will provide you with a tax donation letter.
We feel tremendously fortunate to receive so many wheelchair donations and be able to transform so many lives. Be a part of this!
We promise your donations will be powerful.