News | October 17, 2017

F.R.E.E. Collecting Used Mobility Equipment To Benefit Virginians In Need

Local non-profit refurbishes equipment, helps people regain mobility, independence

Roanoke, VA /PRNewswire/ - The Roanoke Valley's Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment (F.R.E.E) is asking Virginians to donate medical equipment that's no longer being used so those devices can be refurbished and donated to Virginia residents in need.

The items most needed presently include wheelchairs of all sizes, tub transfer benches, shower chairs, and rollator walkers with seats. Also accepted for donation are bedside commodes, raised toilet seats, working power chairs, and walkers. The organization can't accept hospital beds or oxygen supplies.

Donations can be dropped off at most Goodwill store locations and collection sites throughout Virginia, except for in the Winchester area where items are collected at Blue Ridge Hospice. The equipment is then sent to F.R.E.E. – www.free-foundation.org – for refurbishment, cleaning and distribution to its various chapters throughout the state.

"The good news is that more and more Virginians are becoming aware of our services, as evidenced by the increase in mobility equipment being provided," explained Robin Ramsey, F.R.E.E.'s executive director. "The challenge is that we need to keep the pipeline filled with donated wheelchairs, tub transfer benches, shower chairs, walkers, and other equipment. That's why we're spreading the word that F.R.E.E. accepts and needs mobility equipment, no matter what condition it's in."

F.R.E.E. is funded in part through a grant from the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS).

"Over a decade ago, DARS realized the great benefits of developing a public-private partnership with F.R.E.E.," explains Jim Rothrock, Commissioner of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. "Since its inception, this effort has supported over 10,000 Virginians, helping them to live at home safely and independently. I encourage Virginians to clean out their garages and closets and donate rehab equipment they no longer need so that it can be used to help their neighbors."

With six chapters – including its Roanoke headquarters – throughout Virginia, F.R.E.E. is a volunteer-led, non-profit that provides mobility rehabilitation equipment to uninsured and underinsured adults in Virginia, helping them regain their mobility and independence.

"Because of Virginians' generosity in donating this equipment, those in need regain their mobility and independence, saving Virginia's taxpayers millions of dollars annually," Ramsey explains. "It's truly a win-win situation."

SOURCE: F.R.E.E.

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