The act of donating your gently used disability equipment can be a game-changer for someone who cannot afford to purchase such equipment, as well as the major positive change it can bring about. I can personally attest to how difficult it can be to find budget-friendly durable medical equipment for my mom’s requirements at home, so if you have equipment you can donate to others, take a look at all the options below and put your equipment back into circulation.
This article is a simple guide to the different options you have for donations of used disability equipment.
Where to donate disability equipment ? Gently used disability equipment 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
Donating disability equipment to State Assistive Technology Programs
State Assistive Technology Programs (AT Programs) – are a very good option. You can donate your disability equipment into a statewide system of distribution and reuse.
All state AT programs are designed to increase access, for residents of the state, to assistive technology devices, which includes all disability equipment.
An state AT program will usually have the following elements –
- equipment lending libraries
- demonstration centers
- an online exchange site
- a network of reuse centers and refurbishing centers
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. The equipment, over the course of its lifetime, may pass through many hands, making positive changes to many people’s lives.
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 disability equipment to Refurbishment or Reuse Centers
Medical equipment refurbishment centers will happily take any gently used disability equipment off your hands, sanitize it, repair it, do any maintenance, and then pass it on to a new home. Most are non-profit organizations, and will redistribute the equipment at a very low price, or even for free.
Reuse centers do not necessarily do any work on, or sanitizing of, the equipment, they simply pass the equipment on, typically at a low cost or for free.
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 disability equipment to Centers for Independent Living (CILs)
Supporting individuals with disabilities, the local Center for Independent Living (CIL) enables them to live independently within the community.-
“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
Centers for Independent Living will usually gladly welcome donations of durable medical equipment, especially disability equipment. It bolsters their loan closet and helps support the independence of their disabled members. Do call ahead and confirm before making your donation.
The center closest to you can be found here – website.
Donating disability equipment to community Medical Equipment Loan Closets
My next recommendation is donating to medical equipment loan closets.
This is another way of donating your equipment to an organization in where the most possible people may benefit.
A loan closet is generally a community resource, which loans out durable medical equipment to residents of the surrounding community.
Loan closets can play a key role in getting durable medical equipment out to community members in need, making a big difference in lots of people’s lives, typically seniors and individuals with disabilities.
In general the equipment loans are free, but sometimes larger, and more valuable items, such as a hospital bed, may require a deposit.
Medical equipment loan closets may service a town, a region, or just a neighborhood.
How to find loan closets in your neighborhood ?
My way of finding loan closets is the following –
- I start online, and I use the four following 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
- this doesn’t always work, particularly if there are none where I am searching, or if they simply haven’t posted their presence online – if that’s the case for you, I’d contact your county Area Agency on Aging and ask them if they know of any loan closets – use their locator tool to find your local county agency here
- if you got nothing of use from your Area Agency on Aging, try making inquiries with your local human resources or seniors department, and ask if they run any loan closets
- search out your local reuse or medical equipment refurbishing centers, and see what they know – you can search for these online, or look in the phone book
- 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. And they, too, will gladly receive donations of disability equipment.
To find one, ask at your local synagogue, Jewish community center, or search on the Chesed Match website.
National and International organizations which accept donations of disability equipment
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/
To locate your local affiliate to make your disability equipment donation, use this link – https://www.easterseals.com/connect-locally/
The Partnership for Quality Medical Donations
Their website page for donating disability equipment is here – http://www.pqmd.org/pillars/donation-guidelines/
Their website page for donating your disability equipment is here – https://projectcure.org/donate-supplies-equipment
REMEDY – Recovered Medical Equipment for the developing World
To donate your disability equipment 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 disability equipment is here – https://awhealth.org/donate-medical-equipment/
To donate your disability equipment, go here – https://www.esperanca.org/donate-supplies/
Got to the MedShare website to donate your disability equipment here – https://www.medshare.org/
HERO Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization
You can find about donating your trapeze bars on their website here – https://www.herofargo.org/wp-content/uploads/IndividualSupplies.pdf
To donate your disability equipment, 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 disability equipment 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 disability equipment near you
Personally, I find this to be the most practical way of donating an item as close to my home as possible, as you have the freedom to select the specific areas or neighborhoods where your donation advertisement or posting will be shown.
Before donating online, do bear these few precautions in mind –
- make it clear when you write the item description on your posting that your disability equipment is being donated “as is”, and that you will not accept any liability for any problems once it has been handed over
- the safety, well-being and privacy of any elderly individuals in your home should always come first. Depending on how fragile your loved one is, having strangers come into your home for the item pick-up may be ill-advised, as it may pose safety risks and create confusion
- I would hand over your disability equipment in a public place, and if you feel at all vulnerable,have a friend go with you
- if you’re using online classified listings like Craigslist, refrain from using your personal email – create a throwaway email address for your advertisement to prevent spam from filling up your personal inbox
Here’s a list of the online platforms on which you can donate disability equipment to others for free –
If you’ve never donated an item on one of these sites, 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 disability equipment in your neighborhood
If doing everything online isn’t your preference, I’d consider visiting 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 a disability equipment
For those of you who are still looking for advice on where to donate your adaptive equipment, here are a few more organizations that you can contact –
Area Agency On Aging
For those seeking advice about available services for seniors, their Area Agency on Aging should be the go-to resource. Services such as medical equipment loan closets are often among the services upon which seniors will most often rely.
Use this link to find the agency in your county – click here.
Don’t hesitate to contact your Social Services department, as they should have information about charitable organizations offering programs like medical equipment loan closets for individuals in need within your local area.
The Catholic Charities and Society of St Vincent de Paul
The Catholic Charities and the Society of St Vincent de Paul have a strong presence nationwide, providing crucial programs and services for low-income families, the homeless, refugees, and victims of abuse.
Both of these organizations will be aware of what is happening on the ground in your area and where you can find a home for your donation of a disability equipment.
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
I would also recommend visiting your town hall or chamber of commerce, to make inquiries about nonprofit organizations and charities that refurbish and redistribute durable medical equipment. If you have any luck, just follow up those leads.
Why isn’t your disability equipment donation being accepted ?
Sometimes donations will get rejected, some of the more common reasons are –
- your disability equipment may be too old, roughed up or need to be repaired
- the equipment may need to be sanitized, and not everyone is able to follow the strict protocols
- used disability equipment 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.