There’s a new executive director at The Lending Cupboard, the Red Deer-based not-for-profit society that lends out medical equipment at no cost across Central Alberta.
Dawna Morey began her new post with The Lending Cupboard on June 1st.
The organization, which was founded by Jaqui Joys in 2006, operates through support from Alberta Health Services and private donations. Joys also established AJ’s Loan Cupboard in Medicine Hat after losing her husband Alan to cancer in 2002.
According to The Lending Cupboard web site, there are about 7,500 pieces of medical equipment onhand, and staff process an average of 650 loans every month.
Clients served throughout Central Alberta, from July 1st, 2014 through to earlier this month number 3,223 people and counting, said Morey, adding the fiscal year concludes on June 30th.
“In 2014, we lent out 1,127 pieces of equipment specifically for help with hip and knee replacements,” she said. Inventory pieces run the gamut from crutches, hydraulic lifts, canes and bath lifts to hospital beds, wheelchairs, bed rails and walkers. There are pieces suitable for children to seniors, sports injuries, those recovering from illness or surgery, end of life care, children, youth and adults and senior citizens.
“We’ve had clients who have taken a hospital bed so their loved one can be at home surrounded by family.”
Meanwhile, Morey is no stranger to the non-profit sector. She has served as executive director of various non-profits over the years, and has supported several local organizations plus others at the provincial and national level through her own consulting firm.
She is thrilled to have joined the Lending Cupboard, and is excited to see the full potential of the organization realized in the coming years. “We have grown to be an organization with more than 70 volunteers,” she said. “It’s also grown to the point where it has a substantial operating budget and there are paid staff as well as volunteers. Therefore, there are systems that need to be put in place and I’m excited about being able to do that. I’m also excited about how engaged the board is, too. And I’m also excited to see the community know more about this organization.”
To that end, she’d also like to form more partnerships throughout the community as well – for example, with local service clubs. “I also plan to be out at the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, and I plan to make presentations at the service clubs, too.” Visits to local seniors’ facilities and other stakeholders will be scheduled as well.
Better signage for the organization, which is located at 5406 43 St., is also in the works as well.
Morey has also told the board that she sees such potential and need for The Lending Cupboard.
“There is a story in every piece of equipment borrowed,” she said. “Whether it be a person recouping from hip or knee surgery or a family member spending the last days of their lives surrounded by loved ones in their own homes, The Lending Cupboard plays a critical role in that experience.
“This organization thrives because of the incredible team of staff and volunteers that makes it possible to provide supports to people in their communities. That is powerful. For each piece of equipment that we lend out we can actually say that people are making a difference in other people’s lives.
“It is marvellous to see how things have evolved since Jaqui first laid the groundwork for her vision. We hope to continue to do her proud.”
Check out www.lendingcupboard.ca or call 403-356-1678.