If you own crutches in pretty good condition that you’re no longer using, there are many opportunities to donate them to individuals who need a pair, but lack the financial resources to buy some.
You can donate your “gently used” crutches to all the following places – 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, private individuals on classified websites and social media platforms with marketplaces, senior centers and veterans centers.
Contents Overview & Quicklinks
Donating crutches and other used medical equipment to Assistive Technology Programs
Assistive Technology Programs (AT Programs) are established with a federal grant to increase access in a state, in particular for those on a low income, the disabled and the elderly, to what are called assistive technologies – these include most durable medical equipment, such as crutches.
Select your state in the list below, and click on it to go to your AT Program website.
Many states have non-profit organizations which work hand-in-hand with the State Assistive Technology Programs, to provide equipment for people in need who can’t afford to pay high prices, or even to pay at all.
Click on your state to go to its AT program website
Donating crutches to Refurbishment and Reuse Centers
If you donate your crutches to a medical equipment refurbishment or reuse center, both will typically have programs for the redistribution of donated items to individuals in need.
In general, the equipment is given either for free, or for a very low fee.
Refurbishment and reuse centers are typically run by non-profit organizations, and the costs are kept low so that the items can be offered.
Donating crutches to Centers for Independent Living
Centers for Independent Living will very often run loan closets and accept donations of new, or used, medical equipment for their 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
You can locate a center near you to donate to on this website.
Donating crutches to Medical Equipment Loan Closets
Medical equipment loan closets are another great place to donate any new, or gently used, crutches. The loan closets typically lend durable medical equipment to any members of their community who need it, in particular seniors and the disabled.
In general, the closets will loan out your donation for free.
Loan closets can vary in scale, from those run by large non-profit organizations across a whole state, to those run by a few local volunteers out of a garage.
To locate a DME loan closet near you, to donate your crutches, you can start by looking in a number of places –
- I find the easiest way to start is to do a search, on the internet, for “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 try all of these in the order I have written them
- try making inquiries with your county Area Agency on Aging – they provide services to assist people over the age of 60, their families and caregivers with gaining access to the community services available – to locate your county’s agency you need to go to the link here
- contact your town, or city council, human resources or seniors department, to see if they run medical loan closets for the local community, or are aware of any
- talk to any reuse or medical equipment refurbishing centers near you – again search for these on your search engine of choice
- Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and American Legion Posts sometimes run medical equipment loan closets
To locate a Lions Club in your area, check out my article here – How To Find A Lions Club Near Me ? A Very Quick Illustrated Guide
To locate a Rotary Club in your area, check out my article here – How To Find A Rotary Club Near Me ? A Very Quick Illustrated Guide
Bikur Cholim or Medical Equipment Gemacht – these are medical equipment loan closets available to, and run by, members of the Jewish community.
To locate one near to you, make inquiries at your local synagogue, or here on the Chesed Match website.
Great Lakes Loan Closets
There is a very comprehensive network of loan closets called the Great Lakes, to which you can donate your crutches if you live in that area. It comprises a network of several hundred loan closets which have been set up by all sorts of faith based groups, churches, senior centers, and local councils, and all have been kindly listed on one website.
The Great Lakes Loan Closets service the residents of Michigan, Wisconsin, Northern Indiana and Northern Illinois.
“Loan closets typically have durable medical equipment (DME) such as wheelchairs, shower chairs, bedside commodes, walkers, crutches, canes, and high-rise toilet seats. Some may also have hospital beds or electric wheelchairs available. Each loan closet is unique, with its own set of eligibility requirements, equipment, and loan period.” – Source – the Great Lakes Loan Closets website
You will find a link on the home page of the website if you wish to donate equipment – https://loanclosets.org/
National and International organizations which accept durable medical equipment donations
To donate your crutches, locate a store near you and give them a call. You can do that with this link – https://www.goodwill.org/locator/
To donate your crutches, click on the following link website – https://satruck.org/
To locate your local affiliate, use this link – https://www.easterseals.com/connect-locally/
The Partnership for Quality Medical Donations
The website donating page is here – http://www.pqmd.org/pillars/donation-guidelines/
Donating is here – https://projectcure.org/donate-supplies-equipment
REMEDY – Recovered Medical Equipment for the developing World
To donate equipment to REMEDY, go to this web page – https://www.med-eq.org/Login/form.aspx?type=donate&quick=1
Advocates for World Health
Donating durable medical equipment is here – https://awhealth.org/donate-medical-equipment/
To donate, go here – https://www.esperanca.org/donate-supplies/
Got to the MedShare website to donate here – https://www.medshare.org/
HERO Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization
You can find about donating on their website – https://www.herofargo.org/wp-content/uploads/IndividualSupplies.pdf
To donate your crutches, look at this website page – https://www.globallinks.org/our-work/programs/medical-surplus-recovery-program/individual-and-community-surplus-recovery
Global Mobility USA
You can contact them 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 where you can donate medical equipment near you
Posting donations on online listings and platforms, allows you to donate to someone as locally as you want.
If you are caring for an elderly person at home, don’t let people come and pick the items up, as you don’t want them knowing that a vulnerable person lives there – not all people are nice. Arrange a meeting in a public place to donate your item.
When posting online, especially on classified listings, you should create a throwaway email address, as you don’t want to get inundated with spam emails – so don’t use your regular private email for this.
If you are using Facebook, there is no way to avoid using your normal account, but you won’t get spam emails.
Lastly, state in the description of the item you are donating, on your posting, that the object is offered “as is”, and that you accept no liability if the new owner has any problems or accidents using the item.
You can consult my short illustrated guides on donating new, or used, medical, equipment on each of the following platforms –
OfferUp.com – No need for an article on this, as there is a very good video showing how to use OfferUp, see below.
Donating crutches in your neighborhood
If you didn’t have any luck, or just don’t want to donate your crutches online, why not pop into some of the following places in your neighborhood to see if they need crutches –
- Local Hospitals – crutches are always needed
- Emergency rooms – again crutches are always needed
- Thrift stores – many thrift stores sell used crutches – call first though as not all do sell them
- Senior Centers or Elderly Day Care Centers often have loan closets, so call some in your area
- Veterans Centers may be interested in your crutches for a member
- Look up local Retirement Homes and give them a call
- Call your local council Seniors’ department and ask if they have a medical equipment loan closet, or if they know of any
Organizations near you who may know where to donate crutches
If you haven’t found anywhere that may be able to take your donation of crutches, or any other durable medical equipment for that matter, here are a few extra organizations who may have ideas of where you may be able to donate it –
Area Agency On Aging
Area Agencies on Aging may well know of groups who would appreciate your donation.
“Area Agency on Aging” are non-profit agencies which are chosen by the state to focus on helping the elderly get access to the services that are available to them in the community, so they should know who is doing what in their area.
To locate an Area Agency on Aging in your area – click here.
Social services in your area should also know of any programs that are accepting donations of durable medical equipment, such as crutches.
Certain faith based charities do an enormous amount of work with individuals in great need, across the whole of the US.
If you contact them, they may be able to help you find an organization taking donations of DME, such as crutches.
Two faith based charities with chapters all over the US are –
The Catholic Charities
Society of St Vincent de Paul
To find the contact information for those charities in your area, type the “name of the charity + where you live”, into the web browser of your choice.
Local Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce
Your Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce should be able to provide a list of nonprofit organizations, charities and community groups which refurbish durable medical equipment and redistribute it into the community, to those in need.
Reasons why your crutches may not be accepted
If the crutches you are trying to donate are a bit messed up, or defective in any way, you likely won’t find somewhere to donate them, except as spare parts.
Some organizations may not be equipped to handle used medical equipment, as it can need disinfecting and washing to avoid the spread of infection. And as a result, they may not be legally able to accept your used medical equipment donation.
Warranties are another issue with “used” medical equipment, and some companies won’t want to get involved in handling equipment which has lost its warranty.
There can also be state laws governing the reuse of medical equipment, and what they are will vary from state to state.
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.