This non-profit charitable group assists more than 5,500 people a year
January 24, 2016, St. Louis, Missouri… When people learn that the St. Louis Health Equipment Lending Program (St. Louis HELP) loans home health equipment for free to anyone who needs it, they, too, often want to help (http://stlhelp.org).
Every year, St. Louis HELP assists more than 5,500 people and their caregivers by providing the home medical equipment they desperately need. Much of that equipment is donated by people to St. Louis HELP because they know it makes a positive difference in other peoples’ lives.
“It touches my heart that people donate to us because they know that equipment or a financial donation will help a sick child, a senior citizen, a cancer patient or people with disabilities,” says Laura Cannon Singer, who founded St. Louis HELP in 2008.
“In 2015 we loaned 5,570 health equipment items for free to people suffering from illness, injury or a disability that didn’t have the medical equipment they need because they can’t afford it or insurance won’t cover it,” she says. “We loaned manual and electric wheelchairs; scooters; walkers, crutches, canes; hospital beds; portable commodes; elevated toilet seats; lift chairs — and more – to people who can keep it for as long as they need it.
“We are deeply moved by the stories of people who donate equipment to us, and the many we help,” she says. “We learned of a sick little girl who did not have the leg strength to operate the pedals of a bicycle. We were thrilled to provide that young girl with a hand-powered bike — For the very first time she could join her mother, father and sister on a bike ride and picnic in the park. Her freedom and independence made her family so very happy!
“Recently a 93-year-old man came to us for a three-wheel walker and told us his story: As a World War Two fighter pilot he shot down two German planes over France. After the battle his ship traveled through the Panama Canal to Iwo Jima in the Pacific where he shot down a Japanese Zero, making him one of few American pilots to shoot down enemy planes in both theaters of war.
“Stories like that bring tears to your eyes. That’s why we collect and distribute items throughout the year, and we conduct area-wide equipment donation drives twice a year,” says Singer. “This totals about 11,000 items of equipment collected annually and stored at our warehouse in Olivette. We revitalize it all. Good parts of broken equipment are used for repairs. Any broken wooden crutches are recycled. Nothing is wasted.”
“And every year, St. Louis HELP diverts about 140 tons of equipment from landfills by cleaning, reconditioning and loaning those items,” she says.
“Our mission is gloriously satisfying, yet we couldn’t achieve our goals without people who help St. Louis HELP and our volunteers. Every donation makes a positive difference for people in our community and supports recycling.”
St. Louis HELP is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. All financial gifts and equipment donations to St. Louis HELP are tax deductible.
To learn more about the St. Louis Health Equipment Lending Program, visit http://stlhelp.org or call 314 567-4700.