Do you have a “gently used” stair lift that is no longer necessary for you? Your donation of your stair lift to an individual who cannot afford one can massively enhance their life.
This article is a simple guide to the different options you have for the donation of a used stair lift.
Where to donate a stair lift ? Gently used stair lifts can be donated to –
- State Assistive Technology Projects
- state online equipment exchanges
- reuse centers
- community loan closets (state and local) and bikur cholim
- non-profit charities
- thrift stores
- medical equipment refurbishment projects
- faith-based organizations
- local churches
- senior centers
- veterans centers
- private individuals on classified websites and social media platforms
Contents Overview & Quicklinks
Specific programs for Stair lift donations
The following are programs which are specifically for collecting donated used stair lifts –
Home Builders Foundation
You can donate a stair lift in Denver to this group.
The website page for donations is here.
ALS Assoc. Florida
You can donate stair lifts to the Florida chapter of the ALS Assoc.
Contact the association on this page of their website here.
Stair Lifts For Vets
Donate a stair lift to this group for vets in Minnesota.
You can contact them on this page of their website here.
Donating disability equipment to State Assistive Technology Programs
State Assistive Technology Programs (AT Programs) – their goal is to enhance the accessibility to assistive technologies, inclusive of durable medical equipment, within a particular state. The programs primarily target three key groups in the population:
- Individuals with limited financial means
- People with disabilities
- The elderly community
State AT program will realize this with the use of –
- equipment lending libraries
- demonstration centers
- an online exchange site
- a network of reuse centers and refurbishing centers
Typically, donated equipment is added to the stock of items to be loaned out to those individuals in need who use the AT program in your state to find their equipment.
To find out about how to donate to your State AT Program, click on your state in the list below.
Click on your state to go to your State AT Program website
Donating your stair lift to Refurbishment or Reuse Centers
Deciding to donate your stair lift to a medical equipment refurbishment or reuse center is a superb decision.
Both types of organizations commonly run programs to redistribute the items they receive, often directing them to individuals in need.
Typically, the equipment is provided to individuals either at no expense, or at a very low cost.
Certain medical equipment refurbishing centers operate as businesses rather than nonprofits, yet they often sell the equipment at highly affordable rates.
In reuse centers, the standard practice involves accepting and redistributing used equipment in its existing condition, without carrying out any refurbishment or similar activities on the items, unlike the refurbishing centers which will sanitize and repair equipment as required.
You can always ask the center you choose to donate to, what their policies are – if your donation would be sold or gifted.
To find a center closest to you, do an online search using terms like – “medical equipment refurbishing centers” or “reuse centers” + “your location”.
Donating stair lifts to Centers for Independent Living (CILs)
If you’re looking to specifically help those with disabilities through your donation, it might be worth considering donating to a Center for Independent Living –
“provide independent living services for people with disabilities. CILs are at the core of ACL’s independent living programs, which work to support community living and independence for people with disabilities across the nation based on the belief that all people can live with dignity, make their own choices, and participate fully in society. These programs provide tools, resources, and supports for integrating people with disabilities fully into their communities to promote equal opportunities, self-determination, and respect.”
Source : https://acl.gov/programs/aging-and-disability-networks/centers-independent-living
I don’t think that your stair lift would be added to the CIL’s loan closet, but if they have member who needs a stair lift it would be the ideal donation.
The center closest to you can be found here – website.
Donating stair lifts to community Medical Equipment Loan Closets
Medical equipment loan closets are a community resource and represent another excellent opportunity for donating your stair lift, leading to a positive influence.
A medical equipment loan closet typically provides the loaning of durable medical equipment items to residents in their community area, often without any charge. Seniors and individuals with disabilities are usually the recipients.
In the case of a stair lift, this would obviously have to be a very long term loan, and one which again make a meaningful impact on the life of a recipient.
Every loan closet will have its specific terms and conditions, but in most cases the equipment is loaned for free, and sometimes a deposit is required for larger items such as lifts and hospital beds. This deposit is subsequently refunded when the item is returned.
Looking to find a medical equipment loan closet ?
My method for locating medical equipment loan closets is the following –
- I first go online and use these 4 search terms “medical equipment loan closet + your location”, “medical equipment lending closet + your location”, “medical equipment lending bank + your location”, or “medical equipment bank + your location”
- if my search attempts prove unsuccessful, which is not unusual, I reach out to the county’s Area Agency on Aging. These agencies support individuals aged 60 and above, as well as their families and caregivers, in accessing community services. – use their locator tool to find your local county agency here
- talk to your town or city council, human resources, or seniors department. See if they administer a medical loan closet for the local community or are acquainted with such services
- do a follow-up search for medical equipment refurbishing centers and ask if they can provide information about loan closets in your vicinity
- Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and American Legion Posts – having found numerous community medical equipment loan closets across the US run by these three organizations, I would suggest contacting the ones in your local area and seeing if they know of any
To find Lions Clubs in your area, take a quick look at my guide here – How To Find A Lions Club Near Me ? A Very Quick Illustrated Guide
To find Rotary Clubs in your area, take a quick look at my guide here – How To Find A Rotary Club Near Me ? A Very Quick Illustrated Guide
Bikur Cholim or Medical Equipment Gemacht – (Jewish medical equipment loan closets)
These are medical equipment loan closets run for, and by, members of the Jewish community.
To find one, ask at your local Jewish Center, synagogue, Jewish community center, or search on the Chesed Match website.
National and International organizations which accept donations of stair lifts
To donate your disability equipment, locate a store near you and give them a call – https://www.goodwill.org/locator/
To donate your disability equipment, click on the following link – https://satruck.org/
Online listing sites and other social media platforms where you can donate a stair lift near you
Personally, I prefer the online option, utilizing either social media platforms or classified listings, as it allows me to donate as close to my home as I wish, cutting down on travel which can be difficult with larger items such as a stair lift – there’s a lot of kit ! The online options all allow you to select exactly where you wish your ad to be seen, so you can just make it visible to people in the neighborhoods that you want.
Before donating online, you may wish to consider taking a few of these precautions –
- while detailing your stair lift in the posting/advertisement, mention that it’s donated “as is,” and you won’t be held liable for any problems post-handover
- be considerate of the safety and privacy of elderly household members, and avoid arranging for the donation recipient to visit your home for pick-up
- For the pick -up of the stair lift, I would take it to a parking lot somewhere to hand it over, or as it is a large item, why not have it delivered on the new owner’s dime – a free stair lift is a huge gift, so most people won’t blink at having it delivered to them for a fee
- steer clear of using your main personal email on classified listing platforms like Craigslist, as it may well end up flooded with spam
Here’s a list of the online platforms on which you can donate disability equipment to others for free –
If you’ve never used one of these sites to donate an item, I have short illustrated guides on how to donate new, or used, devices on each one –
OfferUp.com – There is already a very good video showing how to use OfferUp, see below.
Donating a stair lift in your neighborhood
If doing everything online isn’t your preference, I’d consider visiting some of the following places in your neighborhood –
- Thrift stores
- Senior Centers or Elderly Day Care Centers
- Veterans Centers
- Local Retirement Homes
- Your local council Seniors’ department
Organizations near you who may know where to donate a stair lift
Are you still looking for advice on where to donate your adaptive equipment ? Try contacting these organizations –
Area Agency On Aging
Check with your Area Agency on Aging for insights into services available to individuals over 60, as this is where you’ll uncover all the information about medical equipment loan closets and durable medical equipment provided for seniors.
Use this link to find the agency in your county – click here.
After this, it’s worth having a chat with your Social Services department, who will understand the landscape of the charities offering programs in your area, and may be able to suggest which, if any, will be interested in a stair lift.
There are many charities running programs and services to help those in need, so don’t think you have to limit yourself to the two charities I outline here. These two are simply very well established with a vast network of chapters.
The Catholic Charities and Society of St Vincent de Paul
The Catholic Charities and the Society of St Vincent de Paul both provide crucial programs and services for –
- low-income families
- the homeless
- victims of abuse
Both these charities operate through local chapters to run their programs in their service areas. If they don’t desire your stair lift themselves, they might be aware of individuals or organizations that will.
To find your closest chapter, of either organization, do another search online – “name of the charity + where you live”.
Local Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce
Your town hall, or chamber of commerce, is another great place to make inquiries about nonprofit organizations and charities that refurbish and redistribute durable medical equipment, as they should have the records of businesses operating in their administrative area. Once you have found some, go have a chat.
Why isn’t your stair lift donation being accepted ?
Sometimes stair lift donations will be rejected, some of the common reasons are –
- it may be too old, roughed up or need to be repaired
- the equipment may need to be sanitized, and not everyone has the facilities
- used stair lifts will no longer carry a warranty
- state laws governing may have special requirements of the redistribution or resale of certain types of disability equipment
Tax deductions on donations
Keep your receipt for any donations that you make to any charities, if you are hoping to get a tax deduction – the IRS will require the receipt for the item.
I’m Gareth, the author and owner of Looking After Mom and Dad.com
I have been a caregiver for over 10 yrs and share all my tips here.