August 27, 2018
REquipment celebrated its 5th anniversary in fiscal year 2018 and crossed an important milestone with statewide outreach. We more than doubled device donations to the program!
In 2017, REquipment received gently-used DME from 369 individuals or entities, amounting to 453 devices. During 2018, we received 1,176 devices from 636 sources. This amounts to a 160% increase in devices donations and a 72% increase in device donors.
We have two reasons for such success. The first was a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to help us conduct 4 donations drives. These were held in North Adams and Springfield in the fall of 2017 and Worcester and Cambridge in the Spring of 2018. 150 pieces of DME were collected directly related to these events.
The benefit of these drives went far beyond what we anticipated, however, far beyond the DME we obtained from these days. Diligent outreach by our dedicated staff and volunteers informed the public of the drives, increased our overall visibility and spiked calls to our program moving forward overall. We utilized flyers, local newspaper ads, social media, radio and cable spots. As result, staff logged a 130% increase in calls compared with 2017.
Additional outreach in 2018 undoubtedly also paid off. REQ staff presented at 7 conferences, exhibited at 17 events, were guests on Cable TV shows in Pittsfield and Worcester and a Hispanic radio program in Lawrence. We conducted 10 mass mailings to Assisted Living facilities, MRC-VR offices, Independent Living Centers, Hospitals, and Commissions on Disability and we continued to work closely with other reuse programs and organizations that provide us with bulk donations (Compassionate Care-ALS, Conlin’s Pharmacy, Medford Dialysis, MBTA, and Hutchinson Medical Supply). Finally, we welcomed two new drop-off sites for device donations in Salem and New Bedford (thank you, ILCNSCA and SCIL, respectively).
Moving forward, we are delighted to report expanded state funding to the program for FY19. Among the improvements anticipated by the increase … the capacity to refurbish more donated equipment!
Thank you to all our donors for helping make FY 2018 a banner year for REquipment