If you own some assistive devices which you are no longer using, you can give someone a great gift by donating them on a wide range of platforms.
The options for donating assistive devices include a large variety of organizations, and on online platforms – State Assistive Technology Projects, state online equipment exchanges, reuse centers, community loan closets (state and local), bikur cholim, non-profit charities, thrift stores, medical equipment refurbishment projects, faith-based organizations, local churches, senior centers, veterans centers, and to private individuals on classified websites and social media platforms with marketplaces.
Contents Overview & Quicklinks
Donating assistive devices to State Assistive Technology Programs
State Assistive Technology Programs (AT Programs) – each state in the US, plus four territories and Puerto Rico, receives a federal grant to set up, and maintain, a program promoting access, for members of the community within that state, to assistive technology devices.
The typical program will have equipment lending libraries, demonstration centers and a network of reuse and refurbishing centers which are responsible for giving access to the public to assistive technology devices.
Your assistive device would make a generous gift to those who use the program in your state to find their equipment.
If you want to find out how to donate your assistive device 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 assistive devices to Refurbishment and Reuse Centers
Medical equipment refurbishment and reuse centers represent another meaningful opportunity to donate your assistive devices.
Such centers will gladly take your assistive device, sanitize it, do any required maintenance, and find it a new home, with someone who has a low income, no health insurance, or an elderly person in need.
Refurbishing and reuse centers are both often run by non-profit organizations, and will work to redistribute the equipment for free or at as low of a cost as possible, making them a great option for your donation.
You can always ask if your donation would be sold or gifted, once it has been processed, if this is important to you.
Donating assistive devices to Centers for Independent Living
Centers for Independent Living will very often be very grateful for any donations of a range of assistive devices and other durable medical equipment if they run a loan closet to help support the needs of their disabled members.
“A Center for Independent Living are – Designed and operated by individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs) 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
To find and contact the nearest center to you, go to this website.
Donating assistive devices to community Medical Equipment Loan Closets
You can make a difference in lots of people’s lives when you donate your assistive device to a medical equipment loan closet, and I highly recommended this – the more people that do this, the greater the impact can be. Loan closets play a key role in getting durable medical equipment out to community members in need, in particular seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Equipment, once it has been donated, is then made available to the community for borrowing, which is usually done at no cost. With larger and more valuable devices, such as a hospital bed, or a patient lift, a deposit may be requested for the duration of the loan.
Some loan closets are large-scale operations managed by non-profit organizations and may can an entire state, while other setups are quite small, run maybe by just a few motivated local volunteers out of a small garage, and service just a few blocks around them.
If you would like to locate a loan closet near you, I’d start searching online, and contacting the following key places –
- I prefer to start searching online with the following 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” – I do each search in the order listed above
- if those searches didn’t bring up any loan closets, I suggest contacting your county Area Agency on Aging – such agencies run services to aid the over 60s in accessing the community services available to them – this locator tool will find your local county agency here
- make inquiries with your local human resources or seniors department, and find out if they manage any medical loan closet for seniors
- do other internet searches for local reuse or medical equipment refurbishing centers, and see what they have to say
- Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and American Legion Posts – check in with these charitable organizations in your area, as they often run community medical equipment loan closets
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 – these are Jewish medical equipment loan closets, run by, and for, members of the Jewish community. They, too, will always be grateful for the gift of assistive devices.
You can search for these on the Chesed Match website.
National and International organizations which accept donations of assistive devices
To donate your assistive device, locate a store near you and give them a call – https://www.goodwill.org/locator/
To donate your assistive device, click on the following link – https://satruck.org/
To locate your local affiliate to make your assistive device donation, use this link – https://www.easterseals.com/connect-locally/
The Partnership for Quality Medical Donations
Their website page for donating an assistive device is here – http://www.pqmd.org/pillars/donation-guidelines/
Their website page for donating your assistive device is here – https://projectcure.org/donate-supplies-equipment
REMEDY – Recovered Medical Equipment for the developing World
To donate your assistive device to REMEDY, use this web page here – https://www.med-eq.org/Login/form.aspx?type=donate&quick=1
Advocates for World Health
The page for donating your assistive device is here – https://awhealth.org/donate-medical-equipment/
To donate your assistive device, go here – https://www.esperanca.org/donate-supplies/
Got to the MedShare website to donate your assistive device here – https://www.medshare.org/
HERO Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization
You can find about donating your assistive device on their website here – https://www.herofargo.org/wp-content/uploads/IndividualSupplies.pdf
To donate your assistive device, go to this website page – https://www.globallinks.org/our-work/programs/medical-surplus-recovery-program/individual-and-community-surplus-recovery
Global Mobility USA
You can donate your assistive device at this web address – http://www.globalmobilityusa.org/equipment-and-in-kind-donations
This is the donation page on their website – http://www.medicalbridges.org/donate/medical-supplies-and-equipment
Online listing sites and other social media platforms where you can donate assistive devices near you
For me, the main reason for donating on online listings and social media platforms is that it will allow you to donate to people as locally as you wish. You will be able to adjust the size of the area in which the advertisement/posting for your donation is seen.
There are a few things to be aware of if you do post your donation online –
- you need to state in the item description that you are donating it “as is”, and that you accept no liability if the new user has any sort of accident or problem with the equipment
- if you are looking after an elderly person at home, you need to keep them safe and to respect their privacy, so I wouldn’t have individuals come into your home for the pick-up that you don’t know
- it’s always best to arrange a meeting with the recipient of your donation in a public place to gift them your assistive device – a mall or a car park, and go with a friend if you feel at all vulnerable
- for larger and more valuable equipment, you can have the equipment delivered to the recipient’s home, on their dime – they will still be making a huge saving
- on classified listings, use a throwaway email address for your advertisement, to prevent your own personal email from receiving a tsunami of spam
Online platforms where you can donate assistive devices –
If you haven’t used the above sites to donate an item, I have short illustrated guides on how to donate new, or used, devices on each one –
OfferUp.com – No need for an article on this, as there is a very good video showing how to use OfferUp, see below.
Donating an assistive device in your neighborhood
If you would rather do things in person, you can go and ask at some of the following places in your neighborhood –
- Local Hospitals
- Emergency rooms
- 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 an assistive device
If you still haven’t found somewhere that suits you to donate your assistive device, here are some organizations where you may be able to get some advice –
Area Agency On Aging
As I have already noted, your Area Agency on Aging is going to be a gold mine of information, and I would first ask them for any advice they can give you.
Use the following link to find your Area Agency on Aging – click here.
Your local Social Services department will be aware of charitable organizations running programs for all sorts of different people in need, and some may need durable medical equipment.
Another great source of information are large faith-based charities, which run multiple programs for individuals in need, across the whole of the US. Two such large charities are –
The Catholic Charities and Society of St Vincent de Paul
Both charities have chapters throughout the US offering multiple services to low income families, the homeless, refugees, and victims of abuse.
There is a good chance that if you contact either of the organizations they may know of any loan closets, or individuals who would appreciate your donation.
To find the chapter and its programs in your area, search “name of the charity + where you live”, in your web browser.
Local Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce
The Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce where you live will have records of nonprofit organizations, charities refurbishing and redistributing durable medical equipment in your area.
Why aren’t your assistive device donations being accepted ?
Some of the reasons for the rejection of donated items could be –
- they may be too old or a bit too worn out
- most used devices will have to undergo some form of sanitized, and a lot of organizations are ill-equipped to carry this out
- used devices no longer carry a warranty
- state laws governing the reuse of medical equipment and devices
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.