It was a time of celebration this week as The Lending Cupboard marked 10 years of serving communities across Central Alberta.
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.
Joys established The Lending Cupboard after losing her husband Alan to cancer in 2002.
In 2003, Jaqui founded the Alan Joys (AJ’s) Loan Cupboard Society in Medicine Hat. The same year, she began exploring a similar service in Red Deer, where she moved six months after Alan’s passing.
The organization operates through some support from Alberta Health Services, with the bulk of support stemming from grants, fundraising and private donations. There are about 7,500 pieces of equipment on hand, and staff process an average of 650 loans every month for situations ranging from extreme sports injuries, those recovering from illness or surgery to end of life care. There is equipment for children, youth, adults and seniors.
She was also one of several past and present staff, volunteers and supporters who attended a special 10th anniversary event Thursday evening at Parkland Nurseries.
“It’s a pleasure to be back and to see so many faces that I recognize,” she said. “I’m so happy to see you.”
As for starting the Cupboard, she recalled it as a time of seeing folks really come together including local Rotarians and the health region of the time as well.
“The support just kept coming and kept coming,” she said. “At our official opening, we had people there from the City, the mayor was there and representatives from the health region. That all just helped put it together.”
Executive Director Dawna Morey said the fiscal year for the organization just wrapped this past June, and some 16,000 pieces of equipment were processed during that time period.
“This is truly only in existence because of the generosity of our volunteers and the contributions from the people that come in and serve,” she said, adding that volunteers help out in a number of ways from cleaning and maintaining equipment to working directly with clients and their families in selecting the right equipment for their particular need.
“The board is also committed, engaged, forward thinking and they are passionate to see the vision of The Lending Cupboard alive in Central Alberta,” she said.
Check out www.lendingcupboard.ca.