Lending Cupboard lands City support for AUMA resolutions

Hours of business extended as demand grows for medical equipment

The Lending Cupboard has extended their hours of business as demand continues to grow for local residents seeking to borrow medical equipment.

The facility is now open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., said Dawna Morey, executive director. “The other day, we opened at 9 a.m. and there were people at the door at 8:30 a.m.”

And to that end, they could also use more volunteer help, she said, pointing to areas such as customer service, and the cleaning and sanitizing of equipment.

The Lending Cupboard is a Red Deer-based society that lends out medical equipment at no cost across Central Alberta, and it continues to meet a growing need across the region. The organization is a registered not-for-profit society and was founded by Jaqui Joys in the summer of 2006.

The organization operates through some support from Alberta Health Services, with the bulk of support stemming from grants, fundraising and private donations.

Equipment available runs the gamut from wheelchairs, walkers, bath chairs and commodes to hospital beds, crutches and canes, hydraulic lifts and bed rails.

Meanwhile, at a City council meeting last month, councillors discussed Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Membership (AUMA) resolutions and organizations like the Lending Cupboard were a part of that conversation.

Each year, municipalities are invited to contribute resolutions that strive to address a topic of concern to municipalities throughout the province for consideration by the AUMA.

This year, council’s resolutions included provincial funding of 211, combative sports and support to medical equipment lending initiatives across Alberta which of course would benefit the Lending Cupboard.

The resolution would see the AUMA encouraging Alberta Health Services to bolster funding support to organizations and include annual incremental increases among other things.

“We’ve always felt that municipalities have a role to help the Lending Cupboard in terms of advocating because we are really talking about the quality of life for people,” said Morey. “And so it was good to see that council recognized that as well.

“The Lending Cupboard does so much more than just lend medical equipment. We’re talking about being able to help give people the ability to stay mobile, to be independent and to be engaged in their community,” she said.

“Of course, we are also talking about people being able to ‘age in place’ and to be able to recuperate at home,” she added.

When people are released from the hospital, they sometimes need these types of equipment. “The Lending Cupboard is there to help with that.”

Morey said she’s also been in touch with the municipalities across the region that the Lending Cupboard serves as well, as she hopes that, “We can see the same type of resolution go forward to AAMDC (Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties) which is the rural counterpart to the AUMA,” she said, adding that the resolution going forward is also about building overall awareness.

“We get requests from across the province and there’s a growing interest (in what we do), because of course there is a growing need,” she said. “So as an organization that has been in existence for 10 years, we see that we also have a leadership role and that was identified in our strategic planning, to be able to see similar organizations replicated. What part we can play in that is yet to be determined,” she said.

Morey said that these days, the Lending Cupboard has seen an increase in demand for services of 10% over last year. “And it’s not going to go down anytime soon,” she said, adding that the organization is also on the look-out for a bigger space to operate out of. “We have a building committee that is working on that.”

She said that come the fall, the Lending Cupboard will also be seeking new board members as well.

“We are looking for some really interested individuals who would love to be able to come and help us especially as we look to the future.”

Check out www.lendingcupboard.ca for more information about the organization or about volunteer opportunities.